Jim Cox Channel 8 Newsman; State Police Public Information Director
James D. Cox, 85, the first news director and long-time anchor at WGAL-TV who later became the voice of the Pennsylvania State Police, died Saturday at Willow Valley’s Glen after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease.
During the ’50’s and ’60’s Cox was one of the best known members of the Pennsylvania media. For much of that time, he anchored the 6 and 11 p.m. news broadcasts covering nearly every major local and national news story.
In 1969, he was appointed public information director of the Pennsylvania State Police by, then Governor, Raymond P. Shafer. He held that post until his retirement in 1985.
Born in Orviston, Centre County PA, the son of the late Frank H and Pearl W Cox, he served in the United States Army in Europe during World War II attaining the rank of captain. After the war, he worked as an announcer and newsman at radio stations in Altoona, Lewistown and York before coming to WGAL-TV in 1952.
He was married to the late Eleanor Deihl Cox, from 1945 until her death in 1992. He was preceded in death by their son, Michael, in 1975.
He is survived by a son, Dennis, married to Gaye (Blevins), of Conestoga; a daughter-in-law Jeanne, of Crofton, MD; a grandson, Nathan married to Kate (Young), of Millersville; a granddaughter, Katherine Cox Zurlo married to Glen, of Serverna Park, MD; a granddaughter, Abigail Cox McConnell, wife of Rev. Dr. Timothy P. McConnell, of Charlottesville, VA; a grandson, Bryan M. Cox, of Bowie, MD and nine great grandchildren.
Cox was a member of the Hamilton Park United Church of Christ for more than fifty-five years; a memorial service will be held in its sanctuary at 1210 Maple Avenue, Lancaster on Wednesday at 11 a.m. The family will visit with friends immediately following the service in the Maughans Chapel. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to the Hamilton Park United Church of Christ.