Hemlock Society & Foundation of Florida

Robert O. Cox, Founding Member of Hemlock Society of Florida Passes Away

November 2, 2013

The Hemlock Society of Florida has lost another founding member. Robert Cox, 95, was an Advisor to the Hemlock Society of Florida from its beginning in 1994. In the early years, he spoke to local groups about the importance of planning ahead for one’s death.

He was born in 1917 at Niagara Falls, New York. He attended schools in Watertown, New York and earned a B.S.M.E from California Institute of Technology and was a Registered Professional Engineer. He was a junior executive of the 1939 World’s Fair. During WW II he served as a service engineer for General Motors’ overseas operations and chief engineer of Atlas Aircraft Products Corp.

In 1948 he moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he founded the Lauderdale Marina. He was also a founding member and early president of Marine Industries Association of Broward County; a board member and building committee of the Museum of Art of Ft. Lauderdale; founding member of Executives Association of Ft. Lauderdale; and Chairman of the City of Ft. Lauderdale Marine Advisory Board.  In 1969 he was elected to the City Commission where he served for decades. He also served for five years as Mayor where was credited with promoting the city as an international boating capitol and discouraging Spring Breakers, both leading to the beach-front revitalization.

Mr. Cox summered on Grindstone Island, Clayton, New York for nearly a century and passed down his love of the Thousand Islands to four generations.  He was a founding member and first Chairman of the Antique Boat Museum of Clayton, New York; an original member of the Clayton Yacht Club and a member of the Thousand Islands Land Trust. In recent years he established the Tue Number Boat Company and Chaumont Wine & Spirits; aided in the redevelopment of the historic district of Chaumont, New York and was working toward his pilot’s license.

He was predeceased by three wives, a son and a daughter. He is survived by two sons, their spouses, eight grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.


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