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Fr. Joseph C. Cox dies Print
Clergy obituaries
Saturday, Feb. 06, 2016 -- 4:46 PM
Fr. Joseph Cox
Fr. Joseph Cox

PORTAGE -- Fr. Joseph C. Cox. died Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, at the age of 93, at Tivoli at Divine Savior Healthcare in Portage.

Father Cox was the first priest ordained for the Diocese of Madison in the initial Ordination Class of 1946 (the year the diocese was formed).

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m., at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, 309 W. Cook St., Portage, with Bishop Robert C. Morlino as celebrant and Fr. Jerome Maksvytis, pastor emeritus, homilist.

Burial took place on Thursday, Feb. 11, at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Janesville.

Father Cox was born on October 15, 1922, in Janesville to Charles Edward and Catherine Elizabeth (Crowley) Cox. After attending Nativity of Mary Elementary School in Janesville, he entered St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy as he continued his studies for the priesthood.

Bishop William P. O'Connor ordained him on June 8, 1946.

After ordination, Father Cox served as associate pastor at St. Raphael Cathedral, Madison. He became pastor of St. Ann Parish, Stoughton, where he served from 1953 to 1967. During that time he was also the founding pastor of St. Pius X Parish, Cambridge.

He also was pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish, Boscobel; St. Aloysius Parish, Sauk City; St. Mary of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, Pardeeville, and St. Andrew Parish, Buffalo.

He celebrated Mass bi-weekly for the residents and staff of Divine Savior Nursing Home in Portage from 1997 to 2010.

In 2011, Father Cox was the first resident in Father Jordon's assisted living area at Tivoli at Divine Savior Healthcare Center. In 2013, he was transferred to the nursing home area.

Father Cox was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Fr. William E. Cox; his sisters and their spouses, Roberta and Willard Agnew and Ruth and LeRoy McCoy.

Father Cox was not only a faithful priest, but also a talented athlete, creative photographer, accomplished ice skater, camper, hiker, carpenter, and an Irish tenor with a deep appreciation for music.

Donations may be given to the Eco-Justice Center, a sponsored ministry of the Racine Dominican Sisters, for spring needs and garden seeds: 7133 Michna Rd., Racine, WI 53402.


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