Mr. Cox was born on April 13, 1945, in Prineville, Ore., to Joe Allen Cox and Clarice Cork Cox. He married Susanne Arbow in Bend, Ore., on Sept. 5, 1966. They met 42 years ago at Central Oregon Community College in the fall of 1965 and married the following year.
Jerry was an ambitious young man and among several paper routes, he was a salesman and one story told of him selling Christmas cards to a Seventh Day Adventist on a Saturday in July.
He went on to become one of the youngest ham radio operators in the nation and built his first radio from scrap at age 13. The Crook County school system could not fill his intellectual abilities and he left high school in the fall of his senior year and enlisted in the U.S. Army. The Army required a GED and he agreed to take classes on subjects that he could not pass by exam. The GED examination was given and he scored in the top 1 percent of the nation. The U.S. Army honored him for the achievement in a special ceremony by Colonel Mundy, commanding officer of the 26th Artillery Group. Jerry was chosen as a cryptographer and communications specialist and stationed for two years in Stuttgart, Germany. He re-enlisted for a second, three-year tour in August 1965.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident had occurred and Jerry's commanding officer tore up his re-enlistment papers and told him he would be better off using his intelligence in another way.
He returned initially to Prineville and soon moved to Bend to attend COCC, where he met his wife in an economics class. He completed two years on the GI Bill and returned again to Prineville to run his own insurance agency and assist his father with a real estate business and the family's growing real estate investments. He quickly became a well-known "bail bondsman" and a friend to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. He spent his Sunday mornings bailing out Sunday night partying.
After an economic downtown, Jerry sold his insurance agency and Jerry and Sue moved to Eugene, where he became an underwriter for the United Pacific Insurance Company, now known as Amica. He stayed with United Pacific until they closed their office in Eugene and moved it to Portland. He followed them to Portland for a year, only to return. After the insurance industry, he had several small word processing and data management businesses, but ultimately went to work at the University of Oregon, managing a sports specialized publishing facility. He retired and worked briefly as a tax preparer.
Jerry and Sue were avid waterskiers and found their peaceful place in the sun on Dexter Lake. They moved in 1980 to Lowell, where they have lived since. They were often seen just drifting with music on the stereo. Their 23-foot daycruiser was named Our Island Blue, named after two Leon Russell songs, "Lady Blue" and "Back to the Island." The couple were avid music lovers, enjoying anything from folk to rock to blues. In their lives, they attended five Grateful Dead concerts, saw Carlos Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Leon Redbond, Commander Cody, Leon Russell and Little Feat more than once, and many others. Music was a major part of their lives.
Jerry is survived by: his wife Susanne (Suz) Cox; his mother Clarice of Salem; a sister Linda and her husband Dan Groah; nephew Jason; childhood friend cousins Delores Houchin and her husband Jim, Raymond and Sharon Struck, and Gail and Myra Cox; three brothers-in-law, Tim Arbow of Eugene and Jay and Tony Arbow of Bend; and sister-in-laws Miriam of Springfield, Betty of Oregon City and Rosie of Bend.
The family will have a private service for themselves and a public celebration of the man and his music will be held at the Lowell Bridge on March 15 at 6 p.m.
Jerry and Sue believed in the greater good. In lieu of flowers, Sue asks that donations be made to the Willamette Valley Cancer Center Foundation or to a charity of your choice.