Robert Leighton Cox

Robert Leighton Cox a long time resident of Orlando, died quietly in his home on July 6, 2005.  He was 88 years old.  Born in North Carolina to Robert Leighton Cox, Sr. and Winnie McWhorter Cox, Mr. Cox spent his boyhood in the rural South, roaming the countryside and tinkering with motors of all kinds.  At fifteen he left home to attend Duke University, later graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  After a short stint as a teacher in North Carolina, Mr. Cox moved to Baltimore where he began his long career with the Glen L. Martin Company (now Lockheed Martin).  Further graduate studies in aeronautics at Johns Hopkins as well as his own natural ability quickly propelled him from draftsman to ultimately, project engineer for Advanced Programs, Space Systems.  During his career at Martin, he twice received the Purple Martin, the company's highest award, for his outstanding achievements and innovative patents.  In 1974 he was also cited for his "outstanding dedication and enthusiasm" for his work.  Throughout his career Mr. Cox felt fortunate to pursue his life long fascination with flight.  An amateur pilot himself in his younger days, he particularly enjoyed celebrating the centennial of the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the company of his two sons, a son-in-law, and his last grandson.  Both in Maryland and Florida, Mr. Cox gave a lifetime of service to the Boy Scouts of America.  Most recently he was a member of Troop 24 of the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Orlando, serving on the Board of Review.  He was also an avid reader and sailor, spending many happy hours aboard his boat and his son's.  His son recalls on especially memorable sail to Bermuda.  Mr. Cox is survived by his wife of 62 years Geraldine (Gerie) Coburn Cox, whom he married on Christmas Day in 1942; and his sister, Eugenia Cox Harris of Arlington, Virginia.  He is also survived by his four children, Geraldine Cox Fisher and her husband, Almon Barrell of Chestertown, Maryland, Robert Leighton Cox, III of Surrey, England, Katherine Cox Hookway and her husband Raymond Hookway of West Boyston, Massachusetts, and Allen Theodore Cox and his wife Valerie Cox of Pembroke Pines, Florida as well as eight grandchildren.  A memorial service will be held in Mount Olive, North Carolina, in lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Hospice of the Comforter, 480 W. Central Parkway, Altamonte Springs, Florida, 32714 or to Mt. Olive College, Mt. Olive, North Carolina 28365.

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