Farming Rural 01

Merle L. Cox

August 30, 1941 ~ March 15, 2021 (age 79)


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 send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Merle L. Cox, please visit our floral store.


Visitation with Family Present to Greet Friends
March 19, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home
305 West C Street
McCook, NE 69001

Funeral Service
March 20, 2021

1:30 PM
Memorial United Methodist Church
105 East E
McCook, NE 69001

Please note
The service will be live streamed at


In Merle's name to be designated at a later date.

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