Mineral Wells Area News

Henry Clay Cox, III Obituary

Henry Clay Cox, III Obituary
November 23
13:48 2022

Henry Clay Cox III passed in his sleep on November 14, 2022 at the age of 77. He was born on July 2, 1945 to Henry Clay Cox Jr. and Ann Crichton Cox in Raleigh, North Carolina.


After his mother passed at a very young age, Henry was raised by his Father and his Aunt and Uncle, Marguerite and Virgil Cox. He is survived by their daughter, Nancy Cox of whom he was very close.
Henry was preceded in death by his sister, Judy Cox Bundy. He is survived by her two sons, Graham and Carter Bundy of whom Henry was very proud.


Henry is also survived by his stepdaughter; Jana Cleveland, Grandchildren; Chance Cleveland, Ashley Dempsey (Husband Austin) and great grandchildren from Ashley and Austin; Hunter, Kash and Blakley.


Henry always loved sitting on Jana and Chances front porch in the evenings and he and Chance were a hoot together, they made Jana laugh. He always enjoyed hearing stories and seeing photos of his great grandchildren. Henry was an amazing and accomplished man, with a heart as big as Texas and Nebraska combined.


Born with one arm, he did not let that slow him down. Henry was avid in many sports, including basketball, golf and tennis. He played number one on his squad in college and went on to coach. Henry was the original proponent of the “If I can do it, you can as well” theory and he proved time and time again.


Henry came to Texas via a circuitous route that included a staff job in the USTA’s Princeton office where he was one of the pioneers of what would become Adaptive and Wheelchair Tennis, and Lincoln, Nebraska where he spearheaded the building of a citywide tennis center. Though not particularly tall, he was a giant in the fight to give everybody and everyone the chance to get into the game of tennis, his favorite of the sports at which he excelled.


Henry landed in Texas in the 1980s with his can-do attitude and immediately set to work teaching, showing, motivating. He had some counseling expertise in his background and that helped him relate to kids and adults on whatever level was necessary to help. He used tennis as a lever to lift others up who might not ever have had the chance. Schools, clubs, tennis centers, parks, senior organizations and expos, and oh yes, the Texas Tennis Association, as USTA Texas was known then, were his stages.

He signed on to help in any possible way and on numerous committees: Junior Rec, Special Populations, Wheelchair, Adaptive, Multicultural, Sports Science, Adult Recreation – and he won awards for his service. He volunteered at local and state events — Special Olympics, Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the US Open, and even the Dwarfs Games.

He started tennis associations in communities where they didn’t previously have any. He was like the Statue of Liberty of tennis – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to … ” He was certain they yearned to play tennis and they would be better for it.

USTA Texas often awarded Cox for his efforts and, in 2019, they presented him with the ultimate: a namesake, the Henry C. Cox Adaptive Tennis Award.

Just days before his passing, Cox was inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in Waco, Texas. While he could not make the ceremony, his presence and impact were felt by the overwhelming number of supporters who came to celebrate him on that special evening.


HOWEVER, Henry C. Cox III was much more than an excellent athlete, tennis player, coach and a wonderful devotee of supporting our youth and seniors. Henry was an accomplished business person, counsellor and supporter of local endeavors, no matter where he currently resided.


Immediately upon graduation from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, he was hired by the YMCA to run their new facility in Lincoln. After successfully managing that project for quite some time, Henry was approached by a local group to organize, develop funding and construct a new, substantial public tennis center. The Woods Tennis Center, named after a major donor, was in fact constructed and later expanded under the direction of Henry Cox. During this period he was also coaching at both the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Wesleyan University.


The City of Lincoln contacted Henry to help establish a new entity to interface with the court system, the schools and the probation system. He worked hand in hand with the attorneys, the police, the schools and the probation offices to help reduce the recidivism of the youth in Lincoln. He was so successful that he ultimately he became a probation officer himself.


Henry then moved through the ranks of the USTA in New York, not only being a major proponent of the sport, but providing support and direction to the organization itself. He was very influential in the substantial growth of the USTA and the USTA’s annual tournaments.
In Granbury, Texas in the early 1980’s he helped convert an old motel into a tennis center. Henry ran the Center, coached, trained and provided lessons for a number of years. In the early 1990’s he accepted the position of Tennis Pro at the Holliday Hills Country Club Mineral Wells, Texas.


Henry counselled numerous business leaders as he was very accomplished in the art of communicating, negotiating and breaking things down to the basics. He also excelled at identifying that specific individual in a group that would be most successful as the flag bearer for a given project.


Continuing as Tennis Pro at Holliday Hills on a parttime basis, Henry joined the management team at Butler-Ventamatic in 1991. In addition to assisting in the very substantial growth of the firm. He worked directly with the major customers as well as providing an exceptional Human Relations Department for the firm. Henry was with Butler-Ventamatic for over two decades as a key administrative individual.
During this entire time he worked with numerous local entities including the Senior Center and Meals on Wheels. In all cases he helped each organization with their communications, negotiations and breaking things down to the basics.


He was always able to open doors for others. What he lacked in limbs he more than made up for with an oversized heart!


Henry is deeply missed by many. A Celebration of Life for Henry will be held at 1302 Alamo in Mineral Wells – 2 to 4 pm Sunday, November 27th
The family requests that in lieu of flowers you may make a donation to Meals on Wheels of Palo Pinto County at 1410 SE MLK Jr in Mineral Wells.


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