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Former business, civic leader Walter Cox dead at 83

Walter Scott Cox II, former business and community leader, died Tuesday in Richmond at the age of 83.

Cox was employed by Exxon for 10 years and operated his own distributorship, Cox Oil Co. Inc., in South Boston for 30 years. An active member of First Presbyterian Church, Cox served as an elder, treasurer, deacon and Sunday school teacher.

“Walter was an integral part of First Presbyterian Church and the South Boston community for many years,” said the Rev. Dr. Russell Lee.

“Actions speak louder than words, and his actions and words have transformed our world to make it a much better place.

“A man of deep faith and unquestionable commitment to quality and integrity, he was always searching for ways to make church and community better,” Lee added. “He knew that without a doubt this begins with faith in the living God. I am honored to have known such a man. I am indebted to him for the gift of true friendship and a partnership in the Gospel which shall go on throughout eternity.”

Cox served on the board of directors of Halifax Regional Hospital for 34 years and was hospital president for five years.

“I worked with him beginning when I came here in 1985 until he resigned in 2003,” said Halifax Regional Health System Chief Executive Officer Chris Lumsden. “He was a fantastic friend, a great leader and was very loyal to the organization.”

Cox Rehabilitation Center on the campus of Halifax Regional Hospital was named to honor him and his wife, Connie.

“Halifax Regional Hospital benefitted from his work, time and financial support, and his business experience helped make this organization what it is, ” Lumsden continued. “We’ve lost a good friend.”

Cox was an active board member at Hargrave Military Academy for 20 years and was made an honorary graduate. He also was a life member of the Commonwealth Club.

Cox was a graduate of Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga. and Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. He was a graduate of both the Infantry Officer Candidate School and Paratrooper School at Fort Benning, Ga.

Lt. Cox served with the 32nd Infantry Regiment in Korea where he received a battlefield promotion, was recommended for the Silver Star by his regimental commander and received the Bronze Star with “V” for Valor.

Cox is survived by his wife and companion of 57 years, Constance Young Cox; two sons, Walter Scott Cox III and wife Elaine, and Dr. Robert Young Cox and wife Katherine; five grandchildren, Lauren Susan Cox, Robert Wilson Young Cox, Kimberly Garland Cox, Abby Elizabeth Cox, Margaret Elaine Cox; one brother, Frederic Hamilton Cox Jr.; and one sister, Mary Garland Cox Johnston.

A funeral service for Walter Scott Cox II will be held tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 a.m. at Third Presbyterian Church, 600 Forest Avenue, Richmond. The family will receive friends this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at Woody’s Funeral Home, Parham Road.