Dewitt Obits

Merle Henry Cox

Merle Henry Cox, 81, of Clinton, IL passed away 8:26 PM March 18, 2023 surrounded by family at his residence, Clinton, IL.


Services will be 11 AM, Saturday, March 25, 2023 at First Christian Church, Clinton, IL with Ernie Harvey, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Park Cemetery, Clinton, IL.  Visitation will be 5 – 7 PM, Friday, March 24, 2023 at First Christian Church, Clinton, IL.  Calvert Funeral, Clinton, IL is in charge of arrangements.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to First Christian Church, Clinton, IL, Kenney Christian Church, Kenney, IL, Little Galilee Christian Camp, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Merle was born July 3, 1941 in Clinton, IL the son of Roy and Ruth (Florey) Cox. He married Sharon Kay Lipe November 7, 1975 in Clinton, IL.


Survivors include his wife, Sharon Kay Cox, Clinton, IL; children, Nicole Finch (Ashley Finch), Clinton, IL and Colby (Melissa McFadden) Cox, Huntingdon, TN; 5 grandchildren: Braden Finch, Kolten Henry Finch, Chloe Marks, Avery Cox, and Dylan Cox; brother, Robert (Linda) Cox, Clinton, IL.


Merle was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, William Cox.


Three months after Merle married Sharon, at the age of 34, he was involved in an auto accident which left him a paraplegic.  However, he didn’t let that slow him down.  After spending three months in the hospital, he and Sharon went home and learned to live life with a disability.  He returned to his work at Grain Flo, Inc. where he was a partner shortly after returning home.  He remained there until April 2014 until his declining health forced him to retire.


Merle was determined to live life to its fullest…and that, he did.  He enjoyed his gardening, fishing, and hunting.  He bagged several deer from his wheelchair.  He and Sharon were able to adopt two children and he was the best father ever.  He was always there at every event they participated in.  He was also involved in a leadership role at First Christian Church for many years plus he taught Junior High Sunday School for approximately 12 years.  He was very devoted to teaching and all the kids loved him!  He loved his family with all his heart and enjoyed spending as much time with them as he could.  He was the best husband, dad, papa, and brother who always put others first.   He did everything with them but walk.


This world was a better place with Merle Henry Cox in it.  He was an inspiration to all those that knew him.  He never complained about living life in a wheelchair.  In fact, his testimony was that if he had a choice of living life with use of his legs without having Jesus in his heart or living life in a wheelchair with Jesus in his heart, he would choose life in a wheelchair.  He will be deeply missed by his family and all those that were honored to know him. 

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