Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Durand Cox


April 23, 2020

Durand Cox

Durand Cox

Durand Arthur Cox passed away on Monday, March 23, 2020, surrounded by his loving family at his home in Pullman, Washington, from congestive heart failure. He was 81.

He was born September 29, 1938, in Colfax to Dallas and Lena Cox. The family moved from Hay to Colfax when Durand started grade school at Hamilton Grade School in Colfax. He graduated from Colfax High School in 1957. After high school, he attended Everett Junior College for a year and was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served two years in Berlin, Germany.

He came back to Colfax in 1960, working at Boeing in Seattle and on the family ranch in Hay. He caught the eye of Roberta Taylor, while visiting his Aunt Julia, in Seattle. He married Roberta in 1962 and they lived on the family farm in Hay, then in a home they built in 1970 and 49 years later moved to Pullman where they retired.

Durand was a true farmer and embodied the values of hard work and honest sweat. He tirelessly worked the land that had been homesteaded in 1883. He raised cattle, hay, wheat, barley and, in the early days, pigs. He loved to take anyone willing on a flight in his plane – which always ended in an unforgettable story.

Durand was an extremely kind and caring person who had a strong faith in God. He was a very social guy and loved Whitman County and YOU wholeheartedly. Whether it be helping his neighbors in a variety of ways, taking a crew out during hunting season, making rye bread and sausage, getting into trouble with most of you in some way, his many crazy stories of his visits with friends in Seattle and even crazier ones when Seattle friends would come over and visit him. He loved attending Cougar games with tail-gating being a fall weekend highlight. If you were ever in need of a laugh or smile – DA made your day with his larger than life personality and love for connecting with people.

Durand was very involved in the surrounding communities. He served on the Hay and LaCrosse School Board, Whitman County Park Board and Whitman County Conservation Board and on the Pioneer Telephone Board for many years. He was a member of the LaCrosse Masonic Lodge, Whitman County Shrine Association and loved to MC the Miss Palouse Empire Contest at the fair. He loved serving in many capacities at his beloved Selbu Lutheran Church where he served as President for many years. He had the honor and privilege of serving on the Washington State Park and Recreation Commission for six years, where he met fascinating people from all over Washington. He was dedicated to preserving and supporting our state parks' diverse natural and cultural heritage as well as providing memorable recreation and educational experiences.

Durand had many adventures traveling with Roberta over the years, once he convinced her to move from Seattle to the farm. Much to Roberta's persistence, he began to enjoy traveling and they were lucky to see some of the world together when he retired. They enjoyed entertaining and welcomed people from near and far throughout the years.

Durand loved his family, he had so much pride and love for his six grandchildren. He loved it when the grandkids came to the farm for a visit or at holiday time. He would take the kids on pick up rides around the farm, let them ride the various "toys" he had, shoot guns and hunt. He was always game for a road trip to Pullman, Seattle, or Las Vegas to catch one of their many activities.

Durand was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. He is survived by his wife, Roberta; his three children, Kim (Joseph) Watson, Dianne (Robert) Spiro and Douglas Cox; he loved beyond measure his grandchildren; Nicole and Chase Watson, Kira Spiro, Hunter and Reagan Cox; also surviving is his brother Jon (Shirley) Cox; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by the devastating loss of his buddy – grandson, Marcus Spiro, his parents, Dallas and Lena Cox and by his sister, Sandra Filan.

The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the staff and doctors at Pullman Memorial Hospital, Dr. David Jones, cardiologist, and Dr. Govind Singh, as well as Kindred Hospice of Pullman. Kindred Hospice provided the peace and dignity, as well as grace and compassion that we should all hope for in our final days. A special thank you as well to Pastor John Cross of the Selbu Lutheran Church who visited often, always with a hopeful uplifting message for Durand and the family.

Durand's Celebration of Life will take place this summer, when the current situation allows. A "tentative" service is planned for July 25, 2020, at 2 p.m., at the First Baptist Church in Colfax with reception following and the Hill-Ray Plaza in Colfax. The family suggests memorial gifts be given to Selbu Lutheran Church, the Shriner's Children's Hospital in Spokane or a charity of your choice. Online guest book is at http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com Bruning Funeral Home of Colfax is in charge of the arrangements.


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