How does one begin to write an obituary for someone that meant so much to not only his family but to his community?
Charles Anthony “Tony” Cox, age 65 passed away in the early morning hours on Sunday, May 28, 2023. Tony was born in Eldorado, IL on July 13,1957 to AC and Betty (Atkins) Cox. He married his best friend in life, Gayla (Pottorff) Cox on October 28, 2005.
After high school Tony attended Washington University in St. Louis and became a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer coming into the family business in 1979 which was started by his parents in 1949. Tony dedicated his life not only to his family, but also his community and the families that trusted him with their loved ones. His attention to details went above most and every funeral ran in precision mode, those who worked with him definitely knew this.
Tony was elected Gallatin County Coroner in 1980 and was in his 43rd year. He ran the coroner's office by the law and treated every case and family with dignity. He served two consecutive terms as President of The Illinois Coroners Association due to his outstanding leadership. He remained Legislative Chairman of the association until his passing. He was voted Illinois County Official of the Year in 2007.
Tony was honored by the University of Chicago Laboratory School with a diploma and was recognized by the Chicago City Council for saving the lives of two young Chicago girls involved in an accident in Gallatin County. Tony always said we were blessed by this community, but in fact this community was very blessed just to have him in so many different areas. He was always the first to encourage others to work towards their own goals.
He attended St. Kateri Catholic Church, serving on the finance, building and grounds committees. He was instrumental in the fundraising and planning of the new church. He was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus, and served as Grand Knight. He was also a member on the Gallatin County Fair board.
Tony is survived by his partner in crime, work buddy and most of all his wife, Gayla.
Tony loved his mother Betty Cox dearly. He will always be a momma’s boy in her heart. Morning coffee will never be the same for her.
Tony is survived by his children Andrea (Noah Kouffman) Cox, Spencer (Megan) Cox, Taylor Cox, Jessica Cox and Stephanie (Matt) Kreiter. Grandchildren, Zoey and Lola Cox, Sonny Kouffman, Hadley Johnson, Lucy Cox and Logan and Ava Kreiter. Brother-in -law Brent Prather, several cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father A.C. Cox and sister Sandy Prather.
Visitation for Tony will be Thursday, June 1, 2023, from 3:00-8:00 pm at Cox & Son Funeral Home in Ridgway. His funeral mass will be Friday June 2, 2023, at 10:00 am at St. Kateri Catholic Church in Ridgway, with burial following at St. Joseph Cemetery.
In Lieu of flowers, Donations will be accepted to the Tony Cox Scholarship Fund to be awarded to future Gallatin County Students.