Cover photo for Merle L. Cox's Obituary
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1941 Merle 2021

Merle L. Cox

August 30, 1941 — March 15, 2021

Merle L. Cox, age 79, of McCook, NE passed away on Monday, March 15, 2021 at Great Plains Health in North Platte, NE.

Merle was born August 30, 1941 in rural Hayes County, NE to parents Elmer L. and Reva M. (Horn) Cox. He was one of eight children who grew up in Hayes County, attending grade school at District 49 until the 6th grade and graduating from Hayes County High School with the Class of 1959. Following high school, Merle attended Colorado State University where he also played football. Merle later graduated from McCook Community College with a degree in education. In 1962, he competed in the National Junior College Track Meet in Big Springs, TX where he placed 3rd in the discus.

Merle taught school at Hamlet for four years before returning to the classroom himself, graduating from Chadron State College in 1968. He then taught school in Benkelman for six years and was also a principal there.  Merle obtained his master’s degree in 1973.  In 1974, he returned to farming.

Merle was a member of the COOP Board and the ESU # 15 Board. On August 30, 1991, Merle’s 50th Birthday, he married Catherine (Bunstock) Cox in North Platte.  Merle enjoyed fishing and golfing, was an avid Nebraska Cornhusker Fan and being Gramps was the highlight of his life.  He became a member of the Memorial United Methodist Church in 2013.

Merle was preceded in death by his parents; and his two brothers, Duane (Lois) Cox and Darrel (Norma) Cox.

Those left to celebrate his memory include his wife, Cathy Cox of McCook; daughters, Lisa Yost of Blair, NE and Julie (Jeff) Smith of McCook; brothers, Lee (Jan) Cox of Omaha, NE and Pat Cox of Hayes Center; sisters, Gloria (Leland) Messersmith of Cozad, NE, Rosalie (Gary) Hasting of Scottsbluff, NE and Linda (Joe) Shandera of Lincoln, NE; five grandchildren, Connor Yost, Samuel Smith, Ian Yost, Will Yost, and Madison Smith; as well as a host of nieces, nephews and extended family members and friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merle L. Cox, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation with Family Present to Greet Friends

Friday, March 19, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Carpenter Breland Funeral Home

305 West C Street, McCook, NE 69001

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

Memorial Methodist Church

105 East E Street, McCook, NE 69001

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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