Rockport - Willard Monroe Cox, Jr, 79 of Rockport passed away on Saturday, February 25th, 2023 surrounded by his loved ones at a Corpus Christi Hospital after a sudden cardiac event.
He was born in Fulton Texas, the first of 9 children, to Willard Cox Sr. and Annie (Cole) Duncan. He attended schools in Rockport and was drafted into the Army on July 5th, 1962. He served as Armor Communications Specialist in Crailsheim Germany until June 17th, 1965. This was the foundation of the love and passion for radios and communications that would fill the rest of his life. Willard could often be found on various radios like citizen band as “White Rat”, public safety as “Rockport 134”, or amateur radio as “KB5VQU”.
He returned to Rockport and married his wife Carolyn Mayes in October 1968. For a short time, they lived in Port Lavaca, before returning to their hometown and settling in Rockport. During this time, he began a career at Alcoa - Point Comfort, working for more than 37 years as an instrument technician. Driving up and down the coast, in all types of weather, day and night, with unwavering dedication to his employer.
Willard was born and raised in Fulton, just around the corner from the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department and began serving his community as a volunteer firefighter in his early teenage years. Shortly after his return to Rockport, he joined Rockport Volunteer Fire Department in 1974. He not only responded to emergencies across the county, he took pride in his mechanical skills to keep heavily used apparatus in top condition and ready to respond when needed. Willard was a top 10 responder, answering the calls more than almost any other firefighter for most of his 50 years! He's always stepped up as the go-to guy supporting the officer corp from the background. Never one to be political or seek the limelight, but always the one to get the job done! Combining his passion for radios and communications, he has always helped all Aransas County Firefighters communicate better, and most recently lent his expertise to the conception and construction of the South Tower, the latest link in updated communications for all Aransas County Emergency Responders on the South end of the county. In the past few years Willard was the sage keeper of the past, always there to guide RVFD decisions; the good, bad, and the honest truth.
Williard “granite-head” Cox will be fondly remember by all who met him for his steadfast adherence to his opinions, and unwavering ability to persuade his causes.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Carolyn (Mayes) Cox; two daughters Naomi (Eric) Ludan and Niki (Kenneth) Matthews; grandchildren Elise and Braedon Ludan; siblings Phyllis San (John) Smith, Clara Lee Cox, Taddy Cox, Terry (Phyllis) Cox, Sissy (Bill) Mills, Danny (Jeri) Cox, Andy Cox, and Cathy (Keith) Cannon; and several nieces, nephews, and extended family.
A visitation will be held at the Rockport Fire Station 212 N Gagon, Rockport TX Friday March 10th from 4pm to 8pm, family will be present to greet well-wishers from 6pm to 8pm. A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church Saturday March 11th at 11am with a reception to follow at the Fulton Fire Department on Googles Cole Drive in Fulton TX with refreshments catered by Stevie Lew’s BBQ.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory to the Rockport VFD at Network ForGood or PayPal.me/RockportFire or PO Box 2061 Rockport TX 78382.
Guestbook available online at www.resthavenfunerals.com
Arrangements entrusted to Resthaven Funeral Home, Aransas Pass.
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