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Sunday, November 20, 2022
4:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Kevin Michael Cox of Kiawah Island, South Carolina, formerly of Summit, New Jersey, passed away on October 20, 2022, surrounded by family. He was active and beloved in the Kiawah community, where he and his wife, Joy, had moved in 2012. He had retired early, in 2006, after a distinguished career in investment banking, and in the ensuing years he devoted his considerable leadership talents and business savvy to the several boards on which he served. He was especially committed to the Kiawah Conservancy, where he had been on the Board for many years, as Chair from 2015 to 2016, and at his death Vice Chair.
Kevin was born July 22, 1952, in New York, to John Frederick Cox and Evelyn Jean (Hanwright) Cox. He graduated from North Babylon High School, where he sang and played rhythm guitar in The Dimensions, a band with a storied history. They had won a Battle of the Bands in junior high, which allowed them to open for another Long Islander, the young Billy Joel, who was then with a short-lived group called The Hassles. While Kevin never lost his love of music, he turned his professional attentions elsewhere and studied business at the University of Richmond, where he met Joy (Charlotte Joy Heck, of Martinsville, Virginia), a freshman at the university. Both he and Joy described that meeting fifty years ago as love at first sight. They married in 1976. Kevin graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Richmond in 1974 and went on to earn an MBA in 1979 from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
Kevin spent much of his career at Merrill Lynch and Company, in New York. At his retirement, he was Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Financial Officer of the company, responsible for global liquidity and risk management. Prior to that, he was Chief Credit Officer and co-head of Corporate Risk Management. Kevin also spent two years in Tokyo as Managing Director and Head of Japan Investment Banking, a post his family saw as a thrilling adventure. Upon his return to New York, he served as Head of Leveraged Finance. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Kevin was a vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank.
Kevin and Joy built their lives around their family and close friends. Kevin was an accomplished cook and a generous host, as anyone fortunate enough to have had a seat at their table can attest. He had an extensive wine collection that he took great pleasure in sharing with friends and family. Kevin also loved to travel, which was sometimes combined with another love, golf. For many years there were yearly golf trips to Ireland, for which he had a special affection, in addition to frequent rounds at the home clubs in Kiawah. Music remained a central feature of his life, and, after retiring to Kiawah, he and Joy attended countless concerts together, with Kevin, who knew every word, happily singing along.
That love and commitment to family and community extended to institutions that were important to him and his family. Kevin served for many years on the Board of Trustees at Far Brook School, in Short Hills, New Jersey, from which both his sons, Bradley and Geoffrey, graduated. Both sons are, like their parents, graduates of the University of Richmond, where Kevin became a Trustee in 2004, after serving two years as Chair of the university’s Board of Associates. In 2012 he was elected Trustee Emeritus.
His family loved him dearly, and he will be forever remembered for his quiet strength, his enormous heart, his incredible kindness, his sly sense of humor, his mentoring, his integrity, and his deep wisdom.
Kevin is pre-deceased by his parents, and his brother, Thomas John Cox. He is survived by his wife, Joy Cox, his sons Bradley (Sonia) Cox and beloved grandson, Ben, of Salem, NH; Geoffrey Cox, of Afton, VA; and his sisters: Kathleen Cox (Alan Egge), of McLean, VA; Anne (Stephen) Andrade, of Sedona, AZ; Eileen Kelly (Gerd Sigl) of Nashua, NH; and Jean (Larry) Pierce, of Palm City, FL; and a number of nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held on November 20, 2022, at the Sandcastle, on Kiawah Island from 4:00 to 7:00pm. A service and entombment at The University of Richmond Columbarium will be held at a future date in the Spring of 2023.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Kiawah Conservancy, 80 Kestrel Court, Kiawah Island, SC 29455, https://kiawahconservancy.org/.