Dr. Roswell “Ros” David Cox

Dr. Roswell “Ros” David Cox (79) of Berea, Kentucky, was born April 2, 1944, to Paul and Effie (Akers) Cox in Roswell, New Mexico. Dr. Cox passed away at home on March 10, 2024 after many years of battling chronic illness. Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by grandson David, granddaughter Arowyn, infant sister Melinda Rose, former spouse and friend Fredonna Ritchie, and many beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Teresia, and four children: David (Casie) Cox of Cincinnati, John (Angela Eades) Cox of Berea, Sarah (David) Gray of Richmond, Virginia, and Julia (Rahim) Cox-Mohamed of Calgary, Alberta. He leaves behind siblings: Paul (Colleen) Cox of Princeton, WV, Linda Carnell of Barren Springs, VA, Cindy Webb of Pulaski, VA, Jimmy Cox of Pulaski, VA, Mike (Cassandra) Cox of Alisonia, VA, Danny (Marsha) Cox of Alisonia, VA, and Ellie Dalton of Max Meadows. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Madeline Vowell, Allison Vigil, Brennen Cox, Ian Cox, Eliza Gray, Austin Cox, Megan Colwell, Emily Colwell, and Olivia Colwell. He is further survived by many beloved former students, colleagues, dear friends and family members.

He was raised all over the world, due to his father’s military service, from his birth in New Mexico to Japan, to the Philippines, Alaska, and ultimately spent the majority of his childhood in Pulaski County, Virginia surrounded by a support system of his mother, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and cherished grandparents. He enjoyed playing baseball as a young man and spending time outdoors along Big Creek in Alisonia, Virginia. As an adult, he longed to return to Alisonia.

After graduating from high school in 1962, he would go on to be the first in his family to attend college. Upon graduating from Berea College in 1966, he would go on to earn a Master’s Degree from the University of Alabama in 1967 and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1970. After earning his Ph.D., he returned to Berea to begin his prolific career of teaching the next generations of early childhood educators that would go on to teach in some of the most underserved areas of Appalachia and beyond. His positive impact on the lives of children, through his teaching, is his greatest professional accomplishment and his legacy.

Dr. Cox spent nearly 40 years as a professor of Child and Family Studies at his Alma Mater, Berea College. He dedicated his adult life to the betterment of lives of children, most obvious through his relationships with many dear students over the years who were like family and his large part in the opening of the Boyd and Gaynell Fowler Child Development Lab at Berea College. During his career, he also held responsible positions with Berea Child Care Association and the Kentucky River Foothills Headstart Program. He was a consultant to numerous programs and projects related to young children. While teaching, he was a member of the Southern Association on Children Under Six, the Southern Council on Family Relations and state and national professional organizations.

His greatest passion was being a dad to his four children, “Grandpa Ros” to his grandchildren, and husband to Teresia, his wife of many years. He loved cheering on the Kentucky Wildcats, raising a garden, taking care of his land, helping his neighbors, reading Westerns, listening to George Jones, Diet Dr. Pepper, collecting stamps, and spending time with Kippy (his special dog and companion) and cats Theo and Betsy. Ros was a member of West Side Baptist Church. He will be incredibly missed by his family, friends, former colleagues and students.

A visitation will be held at 11am Friday March 15th at West Side Baptist Church. Service, also at West Side, will follow at 12pm March 15th.

Private burial services will be held by the family in Alisonia, Virginia by Big Creek. His final resting place will be the Webb Family Cemetery in Alisonia.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Madison County Animal Shelter or Berea College in his memory.