Merrill Dean Cox Jr., “Dean”, passed away on January 7, 2023, in Athens, Alabama. He was born February 11, 1956, in Cookeville, Tennessee.
He leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his family and friends who were always entertained by his stories and hilarious sense of humor. His smile could brighten up even the darkest room.
Dean had many talents and adventures in his 66 years on earth. He served in the US Navy from 1974-1976. He was stationed on the USS Wichita, ported out of US Naval Base San Diego. After the Navy, he became a skilled carpenter. He was employed as a maintenance crewman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a Team leader for the Mississippi State Park Service.
Dean cherished traveling and was especially happy while near the ocean. He loved dancing and listening to all genres of music, teaching himself to play the guitar over the years and becoming quite good at it. Dean had a great love of the outdoors and animals (dogs, cats and birds come to mind) especially his collies: Oz, Spirit, and Trinity as well as Snickers, the cat-dog with whom he shared his life and treasured deeply.
His eyes never failed to light up when talking about all of his times on the beach and his adventure when swimming with dolphins! Dean was extremely active and athletic, with many remembering his skills on the basketball court and fearlessness while doing flips off of diving boards and cliffs.
Dean was a loving, outgoing man and an inspiration to everyone who was lucky enough to know him. It always gave him great joy simply hanging out and spending time with those he loved. Dean displayed his passion for life and people right up until the very end.
Never one to indulge in self-pity or overly complain, he was willing to help family and friends with anything, anytime he could.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Merrill Dean Cox Sr. and Johnnie Roberson.
Surviving family include one brother Steve (Caroline) Capps, and four sisters, Tracee (John) Benigni, Audree Sites, Loree (Buddy) Ashley, and Melodee (Tim) Ashley; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.