Cover photo for Robert Cox's Obituary
Robert Cox Profile Photo
1947 Robert 2016

Robert Cox

May 4, 1947 — November 19, 2016

Robert Earl Cox, aged 69 years, entered into peace on November 19, 2016 in Reno, Nevada, after a long illness. Robert, better known as "Bob", was born on May 4, 1947 in Shenandoah, Iowa to parents Ovid Ernest and Jessie Mae (née Eller) Cox.

From a young age, he was a phenomenal athlete. He was a varsity starter for three years for Shenandoah High School teams in football, basketball, and track, serving as a captain of the Mustang teams that were among the state’s finest in the mid 1960s.

Also an accomplished academic, he went on to graduate from Dartmouth College with a degree in geology. Afterwards, during the Vietnam War, he served as a 1st Lieutenant with the Air Force in Bryan, Texas while attending Texas A&M for his Master's Degree in meteorology. It was at this time he forecasted weather patterns for U2 spy plane missions while starting a family.

After school, Bob entered the oil business and began a 35 year mission excelling in environmental science, earning multiple patents along the way, eventually focusing on cleaning up pollution at various sites around the world. This was his passion. His work and wanderlust brought him to remote locations like Midway Island; Diego Garcia; Melbourne, Australia; and Walnut Creek, California. While in Walnut Creek in the Bay Area, he contributed his labor and expertise to restoring the front doors to the landmark Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

After retiring, he found the town of Boulder City, Nevada to be his preferred home, a place of reflection -- dabbling in various interests next to the engineering inspiration of Hoover Dam.

Bob adored cookies and ice cream. He loathed green vegetables and people who were unkind. He believed that everything should be fair and just -- speaking up about it without hesitation or filter -- passionately. He will be best remembered for his supernatural attention to detail, and would have guffawed and clapped in recognition at this popular quote:

"Enjoy the little things in life because one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things."

Bob is survived by his sister Marilyn Campbell and her husband Bill of El Cajon, CA; brother Jim Cox of Maryville, MO; sister Beverly Johnson and her husband Kenneth of Shenandoah, IA; nieces, nephews, many good friends; and his three sons: Brandon and wife Rae of Campbell, CA; Bennett of Denver, CO; and Barrett of Oakland, CA.

In place of memorials, please donate to one of his many favorite things, here are three:

  • Dartmouth College Fund at
  • Shenandoah High School at
  • Grace Cathedral in San Francisco at

Services will be held in Boulder City, Nevada at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Monday, December 12th, 2016 at 12:40 PM.  Family and friends can sign an online memorial guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Cox, please visit our flower store.


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