Cover photo for George Thomas Cox's Obituary

George Thomas Cox

October 9, 1942 — February 19, 2023

Caribou – George Thomas “Tommy” Cox has passed away at age 80 after a long time dealing with Parkinson’s, and kidney illnesses. He is the son of the late James F. and Lorraine Dufour Cox and the husband of Sandra Jean (McNeal) Cox of Caribou. He was born on October 9, 1942 in Caribou. He had two 20-year careers, the U.S. Navy advancing to Senior Chief Petty Officer (Submarine Service) during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, and Cold War as a Field Operator for the National Security Agency (1962-75) and assignment to a Central Intelligence Agency Special Project team (1975-79), and as a Child Support Enforcement District Supervisor for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in Aroostook County (1983-2003). His Navy Awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, a Navy Achievement Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation, eight Navy Unit Citations, two Meritorious Unit Citations, two Navy Expeditionary Medals, the National Defense Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a Rifle Sharpshooter Ribbon, and multiple Letters of Appreciation/Commendation. As a Maine State employee, he received a Distinguished Service Award and a Joint Maine Legislative Resolution honoring his service to the State of Maine. He also was employed in New London, Connecticut, four years for A&T Technical Services, Inc., in defense industry, and he worked two seasons as a Registered Maine Guide for Northern Hideaway guiding bear hunters. He thanks God for the miles, many not paved. Cox graduated from Caribou High School in 1960. He earned an Associate of Science Degree (Summa cum Laude) from Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth, Virginia (1972), and he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Maryland (1975). Cox also completed 39 semester hours of post graduate study at the University of Maine, Presque Isle, plus a myriad of Navy and State training courses.

Cox was a life member of Post 9389 VFW in Caribou, the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USS Maine and Groton Bases), the Fleet Reserve Association, and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. He was also a member of American Legion Post 0136 in Stockholm, the U.S. Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association, the National Rifle Association, the Fort Fairfield Rifle and Pistol Club, and the TKE Fraternity. He was a past secretary/treasurer of the International Police Combat Pistol Association and won the designation as PPC Expert. He served two years on the Holy Rosary Parish Council, and as a member and chairperson of the Caribou Zoning Board of Appeals (1987-91).

Surviving him are his wife of 58 years who he described as the wind beneath his wings; daughter-in-law Victoria (Tora) and son Billy and daughter Katie of Port Byron, Illinois, and James’s daughter Jessica of Kings Bay, Georgia; daughter-in-law Donna and daughter Sarah of Oakland and sons Thomas of Portland, Maine, with significant other Rachael Kwain and Benjamin of NH with significant other Victoria; a son-in-law Mack Hebert of Windham; a very special first grandchild, Amber, with significant other Tristan Haley and daughter Madison of Windham; son Matthew Hebert and wife Kelsi and daughter Teagan and son Findley of Saco; a sister Ina (Cox) Clanton and husband Mark of San Antonio, Texas; a brother-in- law Louis McNeal and wife Brenda of Caribou; sister-in-law Connie (McNeal) Michaud of Houlton; and sisters-in-law Judith Caldwell of Auburn, and Rita Theriault of Fort Kent. Predeceasing Tommy are his parents, son William, daughter Cher Maria, son James, brothers Alan and Jeffery, and brother-in-law Roger Michaud.

Tommy’s passion was his music. He created a unique genre of music honoring the U.S. Submarine Service producing three albums of military music and one spiritual album; he wrote and published a book entitled “Tango Charlie” regarding this music. He sang professionally for fifty years.

“George Tom” is eternally grateful to the Doctors, Nurses, and Technicians of Northern Light Kidney Care in Presque Isle, Pines Health, Caribou and Presque Isle, Cary Physical Rehabilitation, Caribou, and Maine Medical Partners, Portland. These very professional people did much to sustain his quality of life. Tommy was very appreciative of Bobby Reed of Albuquerque, NM, his music business partner; Dave LeJeune, Master Chief, Master Diver, brothers with different mothers; and Ken Espling Swedish Retriever, trusted friend and hunting/fishing partner, and Charlie, dear friend.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10AM Saturday, February 25, 2023 at the Holy Rosary Church Parish of the Precious Blood. Visiting hours will be held from 6PM until 8PM on February 24, 2023 at the Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir Street, Caribou. Interment with military honors will be at the Evergreen Cemetery in Caribou in the spring. At the decedents request in lieu of flowers friends are invited to donate to the Northern Light Kidney Care, 121 North Street, Presque Isle 04769 or the CHS Class of 1960 Scholarship Fund, C/O CHS, 308 Sweden Street, Caribou 04736.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely and well preserved, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, kicking and screaming, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow, what a trip!’

“There is a port of no return, where ships may ride at anchor for a little space and then, some starless night, the cable slips, leaving an eddy at the mooring place. Gulls will veer no longer, Sailor, rest your oar, no tangled wreckage will be washed ashore.” (Lost Harbor)

Never quit! Dive, Dive! On Eternal Patrol! Resurgam!

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