Submitted by his Wife
Anthony P. Cox
Topeka Fire Department – Kansas
Date of Death: August 13‚ 2007
Captain Anthony Phillip ‘Tony’ Cox‚ 44‚ of Topeka‚ a 21-year veteran of the Topeka Fire Department‚ died August 13‚ 2007‚ after battling a fire in an apartment complex in southwest Topeka. He was born January 2‚ 1963‚ in Mobile‚ Alabama‚ the son of SFC Walter Phillip Cox‚ Jr.‚ and Iva Lou Morgan Cox. He graduated from Topeka West High School and attended Washburn University.
Tony began his career with Mission Township Fire Department. He was a member of International Association of Fire Fighters‚ Local 83‚ and was assigned to Fire Station Number 8‚ at 2700 SW Fairlawn Road. He was instrumental in starting the HAZMAT program for the Topeka Fire Department and was a HAZMAT Tech instructor for the state fire marshal’s office. Tony also worked for American Medical Response ambulance service as an EMT I/D to continue to provide for the public on his off days.
Tony was devoted to his family. He married his soul mate‚ Karrie Youngbear‚ on September 17‚ 2006‚ in Galveston‚ Texas. Their precious daughter‚ Hannah‚ was born on December 19‚ 2007. Other relationships in Tony’s life blessed him with three children‚ Derek Cox‚ serving in the U.S. Marine Corps; and Morgan Cox and Baylee Cox‚ both in Topeka. He was also survived by his mother‚ Iva Lou Cox‚ and two sisters‚ Kelly Drummond and Dotty Karnowski‚ all of Topeka. He was preceded in death by his father‚ SFC Walter Cox‚ Jr.; his youngest sister‚ Shelby Cox-Scott; and his younger brother‚ Daniel Cox.
Tony was a people person and was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone in need. He would help family and friends fix their computers‚ pick up shifts‚ and lend an ear or shoulder to cry on. Tony gave of himself willingly to help others‚ always putting his needs last. That dedication to others held true in all aspects of his life‚ including the fire department.
Evidence of Tony’s love and dedication to the HAZMAT team can be seen in the new command trailer‚ the grants written to purchase equipment‚ and the HAZMAT duty shirts. About three or four years ago‚ Tony‚ Ron Rutherford‚ and Kevin Howbert designed the first HAZMAT duty shirt‚ which had been used until recently. Just before his death‚ Tony‚ with the help of his cousin-in-law‚ Ken‚ finished the new team logo‚ which had been approved by the Topeka Fire Department. This shirt became a memorial shirt to Tony‚ and the money raised is being used to purchase HAZMAT equipment.
Tony’s crooked smile will always be remembered by those who loved him-his family‚ his friends‚ and his firefighter brothers and sisters.