DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

Johnny Cox Service in Woodruff, S.C. (From Jill & Debbie)

Posted in Music Stories by darielb on March 30, 2009

This note about the memorial service held yesterday in Woodruff, S.C. for Johnny Cox came to me from Debbie Cox Sloan and Jill Cox Parris   via email today (March 30, 2009). A second service will be held in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. next Sunday (April 5, 2009) at the Pavilion. 11:30 a.m. A celebration of Johnny’s life will follow immediately afterward at the O.D. Beach Club, which is located at the O.D. Beach Resort & Hotel.

Hello Dariel,

As a follow up, we wanted to share with you some highlights from Johnny’s memorial service yesterday, and ask that you pass along the family’s heartfelt thanks.

We held a memorial service yesterday (Sunday) in our family’s hometown, Woodruff,  in honor of Johnny. We were overwhelmed with the outpouring by his friends. As Johnny watched from heaven, we know he was thrilled to see over 200 people there (some from the Myrtle Beach area) to honor the pieces of their lives and places in their hearts that Johnny filled. We are sure he was thrilled to see “standing room only!”.

His mother, children, grandchildren, sisters, niece, nephews, and their families were touched by the presence of so many.  The service was led by Johnny’s life-long friend, Chaplain Tom Casey, formerly of Woodruff, who shared childhood and school-time memories of Johnny. Johnny’s daughter, Lee Cox Wise, and son, Scott Cox, also lovingly delivered beautiful memories of tribute to Johnny as a father and grandfather. Johnny’s sister, Debbie Cox Sloan, presented a loving tribute of childhood memories on behalf of his mother, Elizabeth Cox, sister, Jill Cox Parris, and herself. A written tribute, composed by Kay Murphy Cox Miller, appeared in the program.

The chapel was beautifully adorned with several flower arrangements, lovingly appreciated by the family, although in lieu of flowers, the family has/had asked that memorial contributions in memory of Johnny Cox be made to the American Cancer Society, 154 Milestone Way, Greenville, SC 29615. Over 50 large framed photographs of Johnny were displayed for all who attended to enjoy. A beautiful brass saxophone, shared by Steve Craig, singer of the Out-of Towners Band, stood at the alter below a touching photograph of Johnny playing his own beloved saxophone.

Beautiful music was presented by the Out-of-Towners Band, after the members reminisced about Johnny. Also a special part of the service included Johnny’s own recorded music. All of Johnny’s grandchildren sang an angelic rendition of “Jesus Loves Me”. Johnny and the angels were definitely beaming from heaven!

The family is so grateful for the presence of extended family, childhood friends and classmates from the Woodruff High School Class of 1962, and the MANY musicians who attended the service. Three large rows were reserved, as a place of honor, for the seating of musicians who had performed with Johnny. The rows would not hold all who were there! Among the many seated on these rows were the Out-of Towners Band, members of the Barons (the group Johnny and his father performed with for many years), as well as 6 former members/members of the Swingin’ Medallions with some of their family members. At one point in the service, Medallion founder and music icon, John McElrath, lovingly expressed his affection for Johnny.

We know that Johnny lives on, not only in the music he played, but more importantly in the hearts and lives of those who loved him. His too early passing leaves an ache in our hearts, but his presence lives on with us forever.

Thank you all for sharing in this beautiful celebration of Johnny’s life.


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