Cox, “Chef” Ray Kenneth

“Chef” Ray Kenneth Cox “Chef” Ray Kenneth Cox passed away on May 2, after a lengthy illness. Kenny, as his family called him, was born in Lavonia, Ga., on his grandfather’s farm, but lived all of his childhood in Rome, Ga., graduating from West Rome High School, in 1960. From an early age, he watched his mother cook at the Forrest Soda Shop, learning techniques and recipes that would delight generations to come. He spent four years serving as an MP in the Air Force, while stationed in Oklahoma and Alabama. After his military service, he attended Berry College, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He worked at General Electric with a woman who wanted to bring him home to meet her daughter, Diane Crane. Ray Cox married that daughter in October, 1970, and they welcomed a son, Andrew, in 1974. After moving to Atlanta, he worked at Gulf Atlantic and Southern Bonded, and ended his career as an auditor with the state of Georgia in 2008. He told everyone that he retired so that he could be a grandfather, and he took on that responsibility with the birth of his grandson, William, in August 2009. Only the most special and caring 67-year-old man would take on the diapering and feeding of a six-week-old baby. He did it with a twinkle in his eye, and a smile on his face, as he sang his grandson to sleep with gospel tunes every day. He was a member of Morrow First United Methodist Church for 35 years, working as a youth counselor for many years, serving as their cook for a variety of functions and even finding time to head their drama troupe with his wife, and fellow church members. He never met an enemy, nor a person who did not love his chili dogs, chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, or country fried steak. He was preceded in death by his parents, Cordia Smith Cox and William Hughes Cox and older brother, William Thomas "Tommy" Cox. Survivors include his wife, Diane Cox; son, John Andrew Cox; daughter-in-law, Anna Wiley Cox; grandson, William Henry Cox; brother, Brendel Cox; sister-in-law, Kay Cox and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews. Visitation will be at 10 a.m., with a memorial service to follow at 11 a.m., on May 21, at Morrow First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to Morrow First in Morrow, Ga., or to the Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, Ga.