TO EXPRESS THE PROFOUND SORROW OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES UPON THE PASSING OF WILLIAM BURKETT COX, SR., OF ORANGEBURG AND TO EXTEND THE DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.
Whereas, the South Carolina House of Representatives was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of William Burkett Cox, Sr., of Orangeburg on February 11, 2021, at the venerable age of ninety-five; and
Whereas, having been raised in the humble community of Cainhoy by his parents, Burket and MaHailey Cox, Bill learned the importance of family, friends, hard work, industriousness, and kindness; and
Whereas, as the patriarch of the family, Bill found great joy in being surrounded by his loved ones. He listened to their joys and sorrows. Further, anyone Bill met, he counted a friend. Into his nineties, Bill hosted Supper Club for friends, family, and, most importantly, people he barely knew. Each dinner would start with an anecdote or a joke, but always he would commence eating with a prayer and his favorite one-liner, "We are glad to have you, so stay as long as you would like, but we turn the lights out at nine p.m.!" Even those who had attended many dinners would roar with laughter, because he executed the line perfectly. Before dinner ended, he would always thank his devoted sister, Lorraine, for the beautiful decorations on the table. There were few men who could carry the title of "true gentleman" as well as Bill Cox; and
Whereas, after serving in the U.S. Army, Bill returned home and found a job with the South Carolina Highway Department. His drive and ingenuity quickly led him into the wood-treating business with his father-in-law, Arthur Powell. In 1953, Bill built his own wood-treating facility in Orangeburg, and during this incredible time Bill's family and his business grew; and
Whereas, Bill, who epitomized American exceptionalism and hard work, was a leader who helped revolutionize the treated-wood industry and earned almost every award known to the forest-products industry. Quail Unlimited named him Man of the Year, and he was selected as South Carolina Small Business Person of the Year in 1990. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Pile Driving Association and was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame; and
Whereas, his last career may have included his greatest joy. Bill ardently supported the First Baptist Church Soup Kitchen ministry. He put all his cooking skills to work and recruited many great people to help him each week; and
Whereas, to his grandchildren, he was a hero. He wove his own cast nets; scoured the oceans in search of mahi-mahi, grouper, and wahoo; grew fabulous gardens; made artichoke relish good enough to go on ice cream; and created his own bread starter. His Amish bread was famous, and the secret ingredient of his delectable banana pudding was crushed pineapple; and
Whereas, his philanthropy, largely anonymous, reached far and wide; and
Whereas, predeceased by his beloved wife of sixty-eight years, Catherine Powell Cox, as well as by Bob Michael Cox, his son, Bill Cox leaves to cherish his memory his three children, William B. Cox, Jr. (Emilie), Cathy Cox Price (Coker), and Vickie Cox Neighbour (Peter); seven grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; and a host of other family members and friends. He will be greatly missed. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, express their profound sorrow upon the passing of William Burkett Cox, Sr., of Orangeburg and extend the deepest sympathy to his family and many friends.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to William B. Cox, Jr., for the family.