Nationals from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica, as well as the United States, were among mourners at a funeral in Brooklyn on Saturday, March 11 for Vincentian native Collin Cox.
Cox died on Feb. 25 at Winter Garden Towers, a hospice facility in Orlando, Fl., his widow Sandra Bain-Cox, told Caribbean Life. He was 79.
Mrs. Bain-Cox, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago to Grenadian parents, said her husband was afflicted with heart disease for 16 of their 17-year marriage.
She told mourners, at Caribe Funeral Home on Utica Avenue and Avenue K in Brooklyn, that Mr. Cox had open heart surgery just a year into their marriage.
Ten years later, she said he had another heart surgery, with an implant, and that doctors had given him two years to live.
“God gave him six years,” said Mrs. Bain-Cox, using a tissue to dry her eyes, as tears flowed down her cheeks. “Again, I was the caregiver.
“The thing about my husband [was that], he never complained. I had to see something is [was] wrong,” she added.
“Seven months ago, the doctors said he wanted to be tube-fed, and I said ‘no’,” Mrs. Bain-Cox continued. “And he survived.
“Between July [last year] and the time he passed away, he had seven [hospital] admissions,” she said before reading 1 Timothy 4:6-8. “Today, I say, ‘my conscience is clear; I have no guilt.’ I stand here, and I say, ‘I have no guilt.’”
Richard Cox, one of Mr. Cox’s elder sons, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, said his doting father bestowed unadulterated love on his children from a previous marriage. Richard’s mother, the late Patricia Cox, Mr. Cox’s first wife, was also a Trinidad and Tobago native.
“[I] Just want to thank my father,” said Richard, who resides in Queens, New York, before reading the obituary. “We lost a great man.”
A mourner, who gave her name only as Tammie, said “Uncle Coll [for Collin] was in “our hearts,” adding, too, that he was “a great man.”
Mr. Cox’s last daughter, Tricia, said: “One thing I’ve learned from this is life is short.”
Brooklyn resident Floyd Cox — who was born in Guyana to Mr. Cox’s eldest brother, Alick Cox, who had migrated to Guyana before eventually settling in Washington, D.C. — said his uncle was “a special person to me — never showed anger.
“He was a gentle, loving person,” Floyd Cox said. “I loved the man, and I’m saddened by his passing.”
Two other nephews — John Cox [born in Guyana, also to Alick Cox] and Daniel Cox [born in Trinidad and Tobago to Mr. Cox’s deceased brother Monroe Cox] — paid tribute to their uncle in song and on keyboard, respectively.
Using a cricket analogy, Bishop Ingham Hodge — pastor of the Lotus Unity Sabbath Church, on Fenimore Street in Brooklyn, who officiated at the funeral said: “Life is like a cricket game; when you’re out, you’re like a spectator.
“And you sit down, and you can’t interfere,” Pastor Hodge said. “Collin loved his family, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Collin Oswald Cox was born on Oct. 8, 1937 to the late John and Muriel Cox, née Dennie, in Troumaca, a village along mainland St. Vincent’s western coast.
Mr. Cox attended the Troumaca Government School before migrating to Trinidad and Tobago at a young age.
He represented “The Land of the Humming Bird” in cycling, and was renowned as a pannist.
Later on, he migrated to Brooklyn and worked at Kilroy Metal Products, Inc. until retirement.
But when one of his nephews, Keith Cox, opened the now-defunct Cox Nissan car dealership in the Bronx, Mr. Cox came out of retirement and worked for him. He also worked alongside his sons, Richard and Curtis Cox, at the dealership.
Besides his parents, first wife and brother, Monroe, Mr. Cox was predeceased by his eldest sister Elma Cox and his sons, Joey and Neil Cox.
Mr. Cox is survived by second wife Sandra; children Gail, Sherwin, Richard, Curtis, Wayne, Kent, Tricia and Ricky; 30 grand-children; two great-grand-children; brothers Alick, Vyron and Douglas; and sisters Mavis, Joan, Cordelia (“Cordie”) and Dofflyn.
His body was cremated, like his first wife, immediately after the funeral service at a crematorium in Brooklyn.
Mrs. Bain-Cox, who spent a few days with her daughter, Melissa, and son-in-law Daniel in Virginia, returned to Kissimmee, Fl. on Tuesday, where she and Mr. Cox had moved, a few years ago, from White Plains in Westchester County.