Tipton Cox


(Apr. 13, 2006)

James Tipton (Tip) Cox, 84, whose name is etched into the legend of Earl Durand, died Thursday, April 13 at West Park Long Term Care Center in Cody.

He was born Nov. 15, 1921, in Dodge City, Kan., to Ernest Ray and Dilly Eleanor (Allen) Cox. He attended high school for three years in Powell. As a junior in high school, he had a hand in the final chapter of the saga of outlaw Earl Durand in March of 1939, shooting Durand from a filling station across the street when the fugitive emerged with hostages from a hold-up at First National Bank of Powell.

Tipton Cox graduated from Cody High School.

He married Jean Reese on May 10, 1945, in Congaree, S.C. He was a captain in the Marine Air Corps and flew corsairs off aircraft carriers USS Wasp and USS Hornet during World War II in the Pacific. He was one of two pilots who rescued 16 scientists on Enowietok after the atomic bomb test in the Pacific, earning the United States Air Medal.

During the Korean Conflict, he was promoted to major and was a forward air controller. Following his military service, he flew for Helicol in Colombia, South America.

Since moving back to Wyoming 35 years ago, he did crop spraying in Worland, and flew for Johnson Flying Service and Hawkins & Powers Aviation. He previously owned Cody Helicopters. He enjoyed anything associated with flying, and in addition, building aircraft, rock hunting, painting, reading and studying history.

He was a member of Cody VFW, Experimental Aviation Association, BPO Elks, Cody American Legion and the First Presbyterian Church. He was a real estate agent in Cody prior to his retirement.

Survivors include his wife Jean of the family home; sons James Allen Cox and wife Joy of Hillsboro, Ore., and Gary Tipton Cox of Cody; grandson and spouse, Brian James and Gloria Cox and their children, Cory James Cox and Reyna Leigh Cox; and granddaughter, Jacey L. Cox, all of Hillboro, Ore., and several cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Wilbur Cox who died at age 3; and a sister, Pearl Jane Cox, who died shortly after birth.

Funeral services were conducted Monday, April 17 at the Presbyterian Church in Cody, with burial in Riverside Cemetery. Ballard Funeral Home was in charge.