Larry D. Cox

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Larry Dean Cox, lifelong educator, died on April 28, 2023, after a difficult battle with gastrointestinal stromal sarcoma and multiple myeloma in Guttenberg. Larry was born in rural Mahaska County, at the home of his grandparents, Oliver and Bertha Mason, to Evert and Ina Mae Cox on April 19, 1937. He graduated from Gibson High School in 1955, earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State Teachers College in 1960 and a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1976. He was the first in his family to earn both of those degrees.


Larry was united in marriage with Anita June Warren on March 25, 1961, in Geneva. To this union three children were born, Le, Karen and John. Unfortunately, Anita died in 2017, after 56 years of marriage. Fortunately, Larry met Lorrie Beisker at the coffee club at church. They were married on Aug. 4, 2019. They were able to spend the last years of his life together traveling.


Larry spent a lifetime in education in many different roles. He started teaching at Tripoli Community Schools, teaching in a converted one-room school that had been moved into town while the school was being renovated. He and Anita moved to Oskaloosa where Larry taught at the junior high. He took a few years off from education to sell life insurance for New York Life. But when Larry and Anita moved to Reinbeck, Larry spent more than 30 years in education. In Reinbeck, he taught junior high science and coached baseball, basketball and junior high football. After getting his degree in school administration, Larry became the principal at Scranton High School. Then he moved on to HLV Community Schools and finally Mar-Mac Community Schools. At Mar-Mac, he was there for the merger with MFL, where he was able to just focus on the middle and elementary schools. He loved working with middle school students and teachers. He loved their energy and potential. During these years, he also umpired and refereed thousands of baseball, softball, basketball and football games. After retiring from full time education, he worked at Cabela’s and then started driving a bus for the MFL MarMac School District. He greatly enjoyed driving students to and from school and their extracurricular activities. He finally left the education system in 2018. But Larry was always an educator at heart, whether it was formally in a classroom or as a mentor to elementary students just learning to read or just helping his grandsons learn how to drive a tractor. It is incalculable how many lives he touched during his lifetime of educating young people.


Larry loved traveling and seeing the country. The mountains of the western United States were a special favorite place to see and explore. He also loved traveling in Iowa. He was forever taking county roads or a scenic drive just so he could see the countryside. If you ever needed to know a back way around construction, Larry was the one to ask. He also wasn’t afraid to see if a road was really closed or whether it had a construction bridge he could use. Larry also enjoyed camping with the Good Sam Backbone Country Camp Club for a number of years. 


Finally, Larry was a country boy at heart. He grew up in rural Keokuk County, helping his parents farm. He started driving tractors at seven and enjoyed it from then on. He especially enjoyed the camaraderie of going on tractor rides around Iowa. He went on 19 WMT Tractorcades as well as being a member of the River and Bluffs Tractor Club out of Decorah. He liked nothing more than driving on the backroads of northeast Iowa at 12 miles per hour. And he enjoyed talking to the men and women who owned old tractors. For many years, Larry and Anita spent time at the Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, doing just that. 


Larry is survived by his wife, Lorrie (Monroe) Beisker Cox and her family; his children, Le Cox of Vinton, Karen (Richard) Supper of Norwalk and John (Ruth) Cox of Spillville; four grandchildren, Thomas and William Supper and Mason and Payton Cox; and his sisters, Virginia Cox and Sharon Homan and her family.  


Larry is preceded in death by his wife, Anita (Warren), and his parents, Evert and Ina Cox.


A memorial visitation will be held on Friday, May 12, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home, Monona. 


A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, at Monona United Methodist Church, where you may visit with the family one hour prior to the service. 


Private inurnment will be held at Pleasant Grove Cemetery, McGregor. 

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