Jon Phillip Cox
Feb. 7, 1945 - Nov. 24, 2023
November 30, 2023
Jon Phillip Cox, 78, lifelong Whitman County registered Angus cattle rancher/wheat farmer passed away Friday, November 24, 2023, from complications of Parkinson's disease. The family is still deciding on the details of a memorial service.
Jon was born February 7, 1945, in Colfax, Washington, the son of Dallas and Lena (Lust) Cox and younger brother of Sandra Filan and Durand Cox. Jon grew up in Colfax, where he was a standout high school athlete. Following graduation, he followed his friend, Frank Garrett, to CalPoly. They both had hopes of walking on for the football team, and to study animal science. After realizing most college football players were taller than 5'10", Jon transferred to Washington State University and joined his much loved first cousins. Jon returned to his 4th generation ranch in Hay, never graduating from college, he was still likely the smartest person you'd ever meet. If you knew Jon, you knew he was also a "storyteller," with a sense of humor. It was never a bad idea to check what story he told you.
Much to his mother's chagrin and his daughter's delight, Jon was an animal lover. He loved each and every dog on the farm, whether it was a cow-dog, or a lap-dog. But his favorite animals were his Angus cows. He was a natural cattleman. With some prodding by his longtime friend, Frank Garrett, Jon started his registered Angus herd in 1963, at only 18 years old. He established Pioneer Angus Ranch into a registered black Angus cattle herd. It was a well respected operation that grew popularity throughout the United States. He grew this registered herd while serving in various capacities with the Washington and Western States Angus Association. The friendships he made within the cattle business were cherished, especially his 60+ year friendship with Gary Kendall. Many of those cattle friendships attended his yearly bull sales, along with the final 2013 dispersion cattle sale. This was when Jon sold most of the cattle to breeders all over the United States.
One of Jon's other loves was flying airplanes. His brother-in-law, Willie Filan, taught him to fly. This was a hobby he enjoyed throughout most of his life. He loved to fly, watch movies, and also read books about planes. There was always an airplane at Pioneer Angus Ranch, as Jon had his own airstrip. And in the last days of his ability to fly, he was a partner owner of a plane with his nephew, Dallas Filan.
Jon was a man of many talents. He was also was an accomplished trap shooter (in the footsteps of his father, who died when he was 13). He was a very talented golfer that could beat most people, even well after his Parkinson's diagnosis.
Jon's family is his legacy. After dating for an extended period of time, he and Shirley joined their families together, on January 20, 1990. This family has been the cornerstone for the last, almost, 40 years. He and Shirley enjoyed traveling, including the trip of a lifetime to Costa Rica, as well as, numerous trips to Arizona, Mexico and Belize. Jon really enjoyed navigating his jet boat up Hell's Canyon, camping on the beach and fishing. The entire family also spent a lot of valued time at the family's lake cabin on Coeur'd Alene lake. He really enjoyed playing cards (Jon was a card shark), boating, jet skiing, and enjoying the company of his family.
Jon is survived by his wife, Shirley, at their home in Hay; children Katie (Len), Jason (Audra), Michelle, and Melissa (Loren); grandchildren Philip, Lynden, Sheridan, Clara, Karen, Jordyn, Talon, Jaden, Olivia, Cassius, Julius, Lucius, Cayla, Avery, and Brody; two great-grandchildren; as well as many well loved cousins and nieces and nephews. His parents, siblings, a grandson, Jude, and a great-grandson, Mylze, preceded him in death,
Jon's a man that will be missed daily. Forever.
The family suggests memorial gifts in his memory be made to the Washington State Angus Association