Dennis Smith Cox, 72, of Bolingbrook, IL, passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Dennis was born on April 30, 1948 in Delta, Utah to William Smith Cox and Helen Marie Bliss. He was the second of their six children. Dennis grew up in Southern California and graduated from Charter Oak High School in Covina, CA. At the age of nineteen, Dennis left home to serve for two and half years as a missionary in the Andes South Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As a missionary, he learned to speak Spanish fluently and served in the countries of Columbia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela. Throughout his life, he continued to speak the Spanish language so beautifully, that many who spoke with him believed it to be his native tongue.
After faithfully completing his mission, he attended Brigham Young University where he met his eternal sweetheart, Eileen Jo Tracy. Dennis and Eileen were sealed for time and all eternity in the LDS Manti Temple in Manti, UT on April 1, 1970. Their family grew to include two sons and a daughter and while living in Missouri, they opened their home to foster 27 children who needed loving parents. Throughout their marriage they moved many times, California, Utah, Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, Texas and Illinois but Missouri always felt like home.
He was full of love and joy for his family. As a husband, he could always be found trying to lighten the load of his sweetheart. As a father, he taught his children the value of hard work, seeing things through to the end and most importantly, that he would always be there for them, no matter what. Dennis found joy in the simple pleasures of life. He enjoyed listening to John Denver’s soothing tenor voice, chewing on a cup of ice, eating “Grandpa’s Magic Beans” (dark chocolate peanut M&M’s) and laughing at his mischievous ideas, of which he had many.
Dennis had a deep rooted love of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved teaching, whether it be in a formal setting at church or in the homes of the many families he was a Home Teacher for, often quoting his beloved Bruce R. McConkie. While Dennis may have had a gruff exterior, those who had the pleasure of knowing him could see the kind and tender hearted man he truly was. He could often be found quietly serving others, always looking for those opportunities to ease the burdens of another. His favorite song, “Give, Said the Little Stream” taught that everyone, no matter how big or small, has something to give, and he exemplified that in his everyday life, trying to serve as the Savior did.
Dennis is survived by his sweetheart of 50 years, Eileen, two sons Monte William Cox and his wife Sandra, Jared Richard Cox and his wife Monica, and one daughter, Erin Michelle (Cox) Simmons and her husband Michael, fifteen grandchildren, Courtney, Sydney, Delayney, Griffin, Gavin, Daphney, Porter, Carter, Riley, Chloe, Peyton, Stryker, Caitlin, Faryn and Tessaleigh and by three great grandchildren, Kennedy, Grayson and Emily, all of whom will miss him dearly. He is also survived by his brothers Dee and Jimmy and sisters Pam and Allison. He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers Mike and Pat.
On Saturday, July 11, 2020 there will be a viewing at 9:00 am with services to follow at 10:00 am at the Dickey Funeral Home at 2401 East Mechanic, Harrisonville, Missouri.
Interment will be immediately following the funeral services in Peculiar Cemetery in Peculiar, Missouri.