In Memory ~ Our Friend ~ Kenny George Cox 1978 - 2009

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Aug 19, 2009

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  1. Shortly after we graduated high school, Kenny and I were neighbors. His church bought a house on Onyx and mine bought the one across the street.

    One night in the fall, a couple of fire trucks and a news van pulled up to Kenny’s house. He wasn’t home at the time. Someone walked down the hallway by his room, smelled gas, and called the fire department.

    Everyone he lived with had been evacuated while the firemen searched for the source of the gas leak. After about 30 minutes, they discovered the problem. Kenny had an oil lamp in his room. It wasn’t burning, but had been overfilled.

    His housemates stood in the rain for 30 minutes! The disappointed news crew took off in a hurry.

    Keri Koke

  2. I looked forward to seeing him as a successfull adult we just never crossed paths. I will never forget how hard he worked at summer camp. He out worked us all in our room. I went camping with kenny
    Hiked. Faced a storm. Well he did and I ran.
    Regards from the USA Cobra wrestling family.
    He a great spirit for Wrestling and life. Mat Sprague

  3. Luke Barker8/19/09, 6:45 PM

    Kenny Cox. If you hear that name, you think of a few things: wrestler, disciplined, focused, intense, glasses so thick he could see into the future, crazy blonde hair, Birkenstock sandals (or as we used to tease him, Jesus Jumpers), outdoors...but to me Kenny Cox was a true friend. I've known Kenny&the Cox family ever since I moved to Eugene, OR (from Springfield, OR) when I was 6 years old. I was a few years older then Kenny, but he would always stop by the Churchill wrestling room when he was in middle school. Some would say "hey, who's that kid w/ blonde hair&glasses?" To those who knew him, Kenny ALWAYS had a smile on his face. Always had something nice to say. I remember one of the first times wrestling w/ him (I was about 150 lbs or so in high school&Kenny was MAYBE 110 pounds soaking wet, after dinner, with weights in each hand!!). He hit me w/ a fireman's carry so quick!! We would be doing sprints&Kenny had to be first...HAD TO BE!! When he would ask how much time was left, our coach Randy Robinson, turned to me and said "wanna see something funny?" I said "sure coach". He wouldn't tell Kenny how much time was left...Kenny kept running as hard as he could. Most would conserve energy (what I called sandbagging) in an attempt to finish strong. Kenny would start talking to himself...saying "you can do it...finish strong, sprint the whole way..." He would immediately go into that strong mind of his&just destroy&plain outwork EVERYONE!! I would give Kenny rides home for years (we lived like 2 miles apart)&he would say "ok Lucas, I need to think about wrestling now" &he would close his eyes&go into what I called "Kenny Mode" & wrestle a match inside his mind....I know rich people in Orange County would pay millions for Kenny's mental toughness!! Kenny would always talk to me about high school, how different HS wrestling was from Jefferson middle school (he knew, but he always made you felt like you were important in his life). I joined the Navy 2 weeks after I graduated&kept in touch w/ Kenny. I was able to take leave&watch him win his last state title in 1997. I remember telling him I wanted to try out for the All Navy greco team. He said "go for it can do it!!" By the way Kenny, I made the team in 1999!! During my 13 years in the Navy I deployed twice to Iraq&worked w/ some of our Nation's best. I rank Kenny right up there. I have yet to meet anyone who worked as hard as him. I still help coach wrestling where I live now, in San Diego. Dan Wiley&I would always try&tape Kenny up in the van on the way to a tournament&Kenny ALWAYS fought hard!! His dad George&Randy Robinson would open up the back of the van&Kenny would be there...still smiling!! Kenny, you lived your life to the fullest&without regrets. It was an honor to know you&call you a FRIEND. RIP my brother&I will see you in Valhalla (the final resting place for warriors).

    Luke Barker

  4. Kenny was a great coach. He taught two things: work hard and have fun. I remember going to wrestling camp. It was the first Sky-Em Challenge Wrestling Camp, presented by Kenny Cox and Brian Watson. The camp shirt said on the back: "As a twig grows strong it becomes dfficult to twist. Every beginning has its weakness." I love that shirt.
    Back in the day, he coached and taught at McKenzie High and Middle School. Not exactly an expert in football, he took up coaching the middle school football team when I was in seventh grade. It was the funnest season of football in my entire life. I wish I could have been able to spend more time with him.
    Tim Zimmerman

  5. Nickolas Saldivar III8/19/09, 7:52 PM

    Kenny beat the snot out of me at Sierra Nevada Classic in 1996-97. I knew who he was but he looked unassuming...not the case at all! Always a tough competitor and a class act on & off the mat. It was an honor to have competed against such a gladiator. My thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends.

    -Nickolas Saldivar III, CA

  6. Kenny Cox...I've been overwhelmed with thoughts and memories of Kenny these last few days. But the one thought that keeps resounding in my heart is..."Wow, what a beautiful creation Kenny was - one of the Creator's best, and most perfectly unique, masterpieces." Kenny was a work of art. When you talked with Kenny, he made you feel like you were the only person in the room. Kenny embodied LOVE. Love at it's finest, and most honest.
    I know and love all of the Cox's, but am closest with Hannah. Hannah was my roomate our freshman year of college when my Mom passed away from Leukemia. She was my "angel from heaven." I believe the Lord somehow prepared Hannah especially for that time in my life...she somehow knew exactly what to do, and say, and she still does.
    Hannah, Lisa, Christa, George and Vivian - my prayers are with you. I pray you FEEL the Lord carrying you in the palm of His hand. I pray you FEEL the prayer cover that's undoubtebly over you now. I pray you FEEL His peace and comfort. And I know that you're confident that Kenny's perfectly content with his Maker now. I am sure my Mom greeted him with open arms! She'd known Kenny since he was a toddler, and she LOVED George and Vivian!
    Thank you Cox's for sharing Kenny with us. He'd be a hard one to share. He will be deeply missed.

    - Brita (Stream) Arcuri

  7. Kenny's ability to (as he put it) "Get out of a rut":

    The only time in my life I can remember enjoying math class was our senior year at Churchill! Everyone was dreading the daily geometry lecture until Kenny raised his hand when asked, "does anyone have any further questions?" It was one of those typical textbook scenarios where we're supposed to work-on-it-quietly-by-ourselves. Somehow you'd get the Q & A session going which made each 50 minute class period go by much faster. One day you didn't show up and we thought things were going to be very dull...but luckily, you were only about 20 minutes late! The chalkboard lesson was getting serious when you slowly opened the door, looked around, and tried to sneak into your seat. Unfortunately, there was some laughter and you were discovered. The 'You'd better have a good explaination for this' look was issued and this is where things got good! [KENNY]: "I was on my way back and there was this garage sale...I decided to see if there were any bargain busters. (More laughter from the peanut gallery) I found a couple pairs of jeans and the guy said I could try them on in his garage. Look, they fit perfect and I only paid $5! [BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE] :O) "Congratulations Kenny, turn to page 82!" was all that teacher said. Anyone else would have had extra homework assignments that whole week.

    I always thought you were charming and I will miss your laugh and hearing of all your adventures. My heart goes out to your family and closest friends!

    Elizabeth (Boyesen) Bratton

  8. I remember the first time I met Kenny at the Churchill Mat Club. He was still in middle school and I was either a freshman or sophmore at South Eugene High School. I remember he didnt seem much more than just an nice hard working kid. Needless to say there was a beast under the boyish facade. Kenny was a good kid & Im sure he grew into a good man. He will be missed. - Anthony Kennedy Sheldon HS "93"

  9. I have known Kenny since we were 5 and most of my memories of him are those early years we spent together. To me, Kenny was and always will be the ultimate representation of maintaining that inner spirit of a child. He was one of the more adventurous, stubborn, curious, and genuine people I've ever met. We played soccer together before shin guards and once filled our socks with rocks in hopes of giving us an advantage on the other team. Wheteher it was skatebording down the cul de sac near his parents house, exploring hunter's tree stands in the woods, or eating grasshopper legs, Kenny always had a plan or an idea that was hard to resist and would unltimately lead to some epic event. Kenny followed his heart and put his soul into everything including wrestling, friendships, being a minimalist, and of course a man of love and integrity. I struggle to understand time and why it took someone so early who had so much love to offer. It made me so happy to see the pictures of Kenny as an Uncle or running free on the beach and can take one more lesson in the importance of living from Kenny.

    -Morgan Davis

  10. Kari Anderson8/20/09, 5:07 PM

    Kenny Cox: Precious. Tender. Loving. Deep. Brave. Fearless. Strong. Tough. A World Changer and Champion Mentality: An Example to Us All.

    Our mother’s were pregnant together, Vivian with Kenny and my mom Trudy with Kasey. Our families lived right across the street from each other and still do to this day. Needless to say all of us kids (4 Cox kids and 2 Anderson kids) were always out playing together, riding hot wheels, bikes, skateboards, and putting on skits for the neighbors. But one of my favorite toddler age memories of Kenny was when Christa, Lisa, and I would play “Wedding Ceremony” with my sister Kasey and Kenny. They must have been about 4 years old and we would dress them up and make them walk down the “isle” (you know the sidewalk in front of our houses) and then say their vows to each other, and of course trying to get them to kiss when we would pronounce them husband and wife. Well I was just recently reminiscing this story with Vivian and found out from her that though Kasey was very special to him, Kenny came home crying thinking it was forever and he was just not ready for marriage yet!! It was too precious!!

    One of my last enduring moments with Kenny was when he stopped by my parent’s house (on a day I was in town visiting from California.) My parents had gone to run errands and I was sleeping in late and I heard the doorbell ring. So in my pajamas I crawl out of bed with my hair a mess and no make-up on, seriously looking my finest ever ;-), and I go downstairs to open the door and there is Kenny whom I hadn’t seen since my last visit to Oregon. He came bearing gifts of plums he’d picked from his parents plum trees and wanted to visit and catch up. So we sat at the table and enjoyed his plums and he asked me ‘how I was doing’ (I had just ended a relationship with a man Kenny met on my prior trip home). Kenny had such a gift of seeing right through you and making you feel like you were the most beautiful person in the room…and it was no secret just climbing out of bed I was not exactly at my most physically beautiful state at that moment. But that is what made him soooo special and enduring!! None of that mattered to him. It was so amazing to see myself through Kenny’s loving, caring, nurturing eyes, like you were the only thing that mattered to him in that moment. He asked me if I’d like to go to the Hot Springs with him that evening and just get away from it all and feel the peacefulness of the earth and the water. I am soooo thankful for all of the amazing opportunities and memories I’ve been given as a result of the close bond the Anderson and Cox families share.

    So Kenny and Kasey may not have understood what marriage meant at 4 years old but they continued to grow in their friendship and close bond into their teenagers age and spent their high school proms together…not quite the same as a marriage but perfect for two childhood friends.

    Kenny your memory will live on in our hearts forever and ever and our families will continue to get together and now we will share our favorite Kenny stories. Your legend will live on. You were truly an extraordinary young man and my life has been enriched knowing you. I can’t wait to hug you in Heaven!

    Love always, Kari Anderson

  11. I was vaguely aware of Kenny the wrestler when he bought the dilapidated house across the dead end from us and he respectfully accepted my welcome to the neighborhood. He turned out to be a reliable and helpful neighbor. Little did I know the impact he would have on our lives.

    I will remember fondly his dumpster banquets and occasional offerings and the joie de vivre he brought to pickup soccer and forget how he routinely filled our end of the street with campfire smoke. I know that, in some ways, those camprifes were sacred gatherings that would be done too soon.

    Kenny was a truly gentle soul who was steadfast in seeking his own truth. Although we were very different I never felt judged by him. He did his best by me and my daughter, and it was pretty darn good.

    He's gone too soon and I will miss him.

    -Dave Barta

  12. I won't ever forget the stud brother of one of my best friends.

    We competed in a sprint Triathlon together and whoa! First of all, what a hottie he was out there! Second of all, he was amazing!! From what I knew he had hardly trained.....he seemed to be one of those people who could just get up from the stoop of the house and join in a marathon run! And be competitive!

    We competed together two years in a row and those are two days of my life I have such complete memories of (partly because it was such an accomplishment for me and his sister to complete it honestly!!)

    Kenny was also the uncle I wished my kids had. He was SO GREAT with his nephews and had just the right amount of "action" mixed with "gentleness" that they LOVED!

    Everytime we saw each other, he had such joy and life about him---I will NEVER forget him!
    God rest his soul and blessings to his family (;

  13. Kenny was gentle, playful, considerate-- and intent, intense, committed absolutely to giving his all to whatever was at hand. He was searching for something he felt was out there. The Watsons keep calling it Eden. Perhaps it was the idea of Eden: someplace and way of being that was perfect and pure. Something better.

    You always had a sense that Kenny was-- good. Benign. That big smile, those piercing blue eyes and that sunbleached halo of hair. There was something special about him, on the mat and off, that we'll never see again. I'll miss him.

  14. Marianna Benedict8/21/09, 1:22 PM

    I came to Eugene to spend some time with my ailing father and my family. Across the cul-de-sac from my bother-in-law's house, (where the smoke from the fire pit billowed in the air) in the dark of night, through a trail in the thicket as tall as me, emerged this young man. Shirtless , a with frazzled golden hair, and piercing friendly eyes – Kenny. He was reserved in his manner, yet his heart was as wide open as his attentive eyes. My very first thought was “Wow, he’s different, he’s living life out loud with no boundaries….. When we talked about my father, whom he’d been mildly acquainted, he said he found my father to be a “bit odd”. This was good. It told me loads about Kenny. I was relieved.

    Upon his invitation, I joined Kenny and my niece Erica and a house mate for dinner, which included tasty soup, bread, and even apricot cobbler all cooked on the fire pit. He brought me a glass of water, a plate and fork, and attended to my dinning needs as though we were in a fancy restaurant….. under the stars…. He was kind and sincere, and he listened….. I knew then that my niece was in good hands, that she had a true friend, a human being, to share with and be nurtured by, during one of the most difficult times in her life….Kenny was important… to all of us…He had a gift to give… and he gave it freely….. his heart.

    One night we were sitting at my brother-in-laws house and a game of cards ensued – Hearts! It was fast and furious. I had no idea how competitive this game would be. Kenny and I, sitting next to each other, were uncomfortable with the pace and culture of this game. It was so warlike. We mutually decided to alter the rules a bit and changed the name of the game to “Peace.” This was much better – we shared our cards, chatted and just enjoyed each other’s company right there amongst the crowd.., ”peace.” I knew then, for sure, that this man was different, special, and that he had a heart of gold….and…. that he was vulnerable to the realities of this harsh world.

    I am so grateful for the love he openly shared with my family, and for the window of insight that he provided about how to approach life on ones own terms.

    He is loved….

    Marianna Benedict

  15. The Wood family met the Cox family in the "unofficial" designated Oregon section of the Junior Nationals in Fargo North Dakota in 1994. Our two sons were a Junior and a Senior in High School and this cute, little Kenny Cox kid was a Freshman..We had quite a large family group there to root for Oscar and Isaac and the Cox's just fit right in. At the end of the week, we were all fast friends and that cute little Kenny Cox had won the Greco Roman title as a freshman!! Kenny was tough and tenacious. He was humble, quiet and gentle. We were very attracted to the Cox's for the way they handled Kenny's stellar performance and just how nice they were. We knew they had three daughters but only 8th grader Hannah had we didn't get to meet the other girls.
    Fast forward 2 months....we were dropping Oscar off at his new dorm on the Oregon State Campus and as we were driving away, we saw a beautiful girl approach Oscar (she had spotted a T-Shirt he was wearing and noted that her little brother also had a USA Oregon shirt) and they began to talk. She was Lisa Cox...that's not the end of the story but the beginning of a wonderful love story.
    We rebonded immeadiately with the the Cox's, pretty sure right away that Oscar and Lisa were the "real deal".
    We have admired George and Vivien for many years. They raised four wonderful children and have embraced and loved our son as if he was their own. We have run the "Hood to Coast" together (Kenny was a beast during his legs of the race). It's been fun co-grandparenting with them!
    Kenny was a wonderful, gentle son, an amazing wrestler and a GOOD man! It has been our pleasure to have known and loved him.
    Gordon and Cyndy Wood

  16. Here's Wednesday's newspaper article about Kenny's death, what he was up to in Kauai, and his wrestling career of days past.

  17. Kenny has been a very close friend/partner the last two and a half years and I am not ready to let him go. Kenny, this dear fellow, all I can say is there must be growth from this.

    Death, in many respects, is something to be embraced, appreciated. We are of the earth, the compost, we'll be taken back into it, our carbon returned to the atmosphere if we are burned, and many minerals tilled by time into dirt -fodder for new growth. For a time there is a window we see through, those of us still in touch with someone who has just exited consciousness. The eternal subconscious: surrender, a return, all together, not alone in our separate consciousnesses, safety, trust. This vision is the deepest gift from the one we love; it is not free. We go with them part way, through confusion, into clarity. Right now, I am still journeying with Kenny, loving him, saying goodbye to the world, letting go of a big big beautiful future in the sunlight of consciousness. But along with him, we love each other -I love humanity too much to leave you. He is leaving, but I will be back shortly, and then I will keep most of myself with you most of the time. There is much to be worked out among the living about Kenny's early departure. This working out is the labor of the conscious,the conscious folks. We try to understand- try to be absolutely as conscious as we possibly can be, while we're here. Don't worry- this labor won't last forever. It is a joy too- to strain ourselves far far far beyond preconceived limitations- like Kenny the wrestler. We can break through and be alive while doing it.

    As Vivian says, thank you for letting me share. I love you (all).

  18. To The Cox Family,

    I am Deeply Saddened to here of the Passing of your Son and Brother Kenny Cox. I had the chance to watch Kenny win all Three of his State Titles. I am a also a youth wrestling Coach at Barlow,We also lost one of our great wrestlers last year his name was Brent Loftstedt.

    Wrestling is not only the toughest sport but it also creates the best character of any sport I have ever been involved in. With reading about Kenny he sounds to me to be one of the most Spirited, Loving and Caring Individuals any Family could ever want in a son.

    I to have a young son that wrestles,I hope he grows to be a good wrestler, but my main wish is he grows to be a good man like Brent Lofstedt and Kenny Cox.

    I have a Deep Love for the Islands of Hawaii. I am part Filipino and my father would take our family there every year. I was also Married on Maui and visit often. This place is not only to me one of the most beutiful places on earth but it is a very spiritual place.

    I have had the chance to name a wrestling tournament after Brent Lofstedt and I am sure The Coaches at Churchill will do the same for Kenny.

    I will use Kennys Toughness and Dedication as an Example in my wrestling room this season.

    With My Deepest Sympathy,
    Coach, Scott Luna
    Barlow Mat Club

  19. What a sad sad day it is today. I remember back to when Kenny was a little bit of nothing trying to wrestle. He went a hundred miles an hour doing everything possible to win but kept exposing his back and giving up points and because of that he rarely won. He would shed a few tears, listen about what he needed to learn, put on a big smile and get ready to go again. However, with his unquenchable will to win and his dedication to training he started piling up the victories and the rest is history.

    Our family was blessed to know Kenny and his family. We moved from Eugene to Fargo, ND and all of a sudden here comes the Cox family to Junior Nationals. We welcomed them to Fargo and to our home. Little Kenny had grown up and he was now a powerhouse of wrestling talent and personality. When Kenny was done four years later he had made a mark for himself in Fargo and it was not just for the National Titles, it was for being Kenny and we all loved him and his family.

    It has been a long time since we saw or talked to Kenny but we never forgot him or his quest for life. We will miss him but we are comforted in knowing that we will sit in heaven with him one day and bask in the glory of the Lord Jesus.

    Keith and Brenda Kerbaugh

  20. Kenny had a golden aura around him, his energy was love and compassion, and living his life by his terms. I was honored to know Kenny for the past few years when he began his relationship with Erica. I remember meeting Kenny and getting the tour of his backyard and co-op style house, and I felt like this guy was way ahead of the rest of us. His consciousness and love for community experience was inspiring. Kenny joined us for many parties and a memorable campout on the Umpqua river and tokatee hot springs. He shared magical encounters with us. All these memories will be cherished and remembered with our circle of friends.

    I was worried when I heard about him going into the jungle, even in a paradise like Hawaii, I spoke with Erica very openly about the possibility he might not come back. I knew how capable and strong he was so I tried to reassure us that he could do anything. I wish that his strength could have carried him out of this illness.

    Kenny was one in a million, which makes it even harder to see him go, I am so honored to have known Kenny. I hope we all will be inspired to live life with a gentle footprint on the earth, peaceful existence and a open heart for everyone we encounter. I Love you Kenny, my heart goes out to all who knew you and were touched by your love.

    Karen Rengifo

  21. I'm sleeping out in the back of my parents property, watching what is left of the Perseid meteor shower. I've never slept back here, a fact that gave my friend pause when I admitted that to him one time. I'm trying to untangle the order of things, the words said, opportunities missed. I can not sleep. And so I write...

    I met Kenny and moved into his house this time two years ago. It was the first house that I had ever lived in that did not have a television. In the evenings I would often join Kenny, our friends and housemates in the gathering and cooking of food, telling each other stories, and the sharing of our hopes and dreams. Sometimes, gathered around the stove by candlelight, and with the cacophony of a winter rain drumming above our heads, we shared a precious respite from words. This was a world... a refuge... that Kenny built. It was with a felt love that he tried his hand at countless means to make the world a better place. Along with more than one mouthfull of mold, there were failures. This is easy to understand... if it was not a lost art, he wasn't likely to keep interest. But he kept at it everyday, recycling (often literally... this became interesting with leftovers) his failures until his world was full of beauty. Surrounded by this beauty, I felt at home for the first time in my adult life. I miss home. I miss my friend. For now, the two are one and the same.

    Thomas Kirkpatrick

  22. I was fortunate to be one of Kenny's neighbors. He was a man with a vision and tenacious principles that shaped every facet of his life. The most impressive thing about Kenny to me was the combination of selflessness and perseverance against the everyday obstacles that stood in the way of his dream. He was one of the few people I have met who seem able to prctice the Hippocratic oath and the golden rule every minute of their life. He was generous with whatever he had to offer, and every act, no matter how big or small was sincere and transparent. One of the things he did that most surprised me at first, but accurately represents Kenny's purity and commitment to making his world and everyone's a nicer place, was his planting a tree in the driveway of his house between the two worn tire tracks. It seemed impractical, but Kenny turned his yard into a shady productive and pleasant garden, even if some of those choices seemed unconventional to others. I have never been much of a garndener, but living next to Kenny's yard has made me want to plant more and cut less, and has given me a greater appreciation for the unfettered natural world that we so often ignore or try to control and dominate. If everyone behaved like Kenny, we would surely live in a world without war, famine, or hatred. Ihope I can live the rest of my life with a little bit of Kenny's example to guide my actions and my vision of the future. Thanks Kenny

    Steve Poizat-Newcomb

  23. Christy Wolf8/25/09, 8:53 PM

    I first met Kenny when he moved into our neighborhood around three years ago. There were many nights of watching small fires and good friends talking both in the yard and on the roof. There were just as many nights of listening to people laughing and playing instruments. Living on a dead end street people get to know each other and help each other while looking after the neighborhood. One night last summer a drunk was trying to break into my grandmother’s home, she had called me around midnight in distress. As I walked down the street, I could see this guy trying to break into the front door of my grandmother’s home. I could hear her screaming from the inside of the house at the guy. When I approached the guy as he stood on the porch of the house, I tried to explain to him he was at the wrong house. This guy then became very angry and started to approach me, when out of the corner of my eye came this short guy, who then tackled the guy and started screaming at him. It was Kenny, all of the screaming had awakened him and he came to help. He helped a lot! He was able to send this guy packing and calm my grandmother down. The funny thing is that I learned that night that Kenny sleep in the nude. When he came out of his house all he had on was a bath towel. Both my grandmother and I became Kenny fan’s that night. I will miss your kind eyes and smile.
    Christy, Cameron & Matthew

  24. Kenny, here's the horoscope Rob Brezny wrote for the last week of your life in Kauaii. The day it came out, August 6th, I read it and thought of sending it to you. Love, Erica

    If you really knew how much you were loved, you would never cry again. A sublime relaxation would flood your nervous system, freeing you to see the beautiful secrets that your chronic fear has hidden from you. If you knew how much the world longs for your genius to bloom in its full glory, the peace that filled you would ensure you could not fail. You'd face every trial with eager equanimity. You would always know exactly what to do because your intuition would tell you in a myriad of subtle ways. And get this: A glimpse of this glory will soon be available to you.

  25. Kenny Cox,

    He was the greatest man that ever lived to me. I was never reallly at home with my own family. The one thing that I could look forward to though was wrestling. Everyday after school, after waking up from the mind numbing classes, I would put a smile on my face knowing that I would be learning from a teacher with far greater influence than any other. He didn't teach mat, history, or english. Kenny taught me wrestling and life. We had our group. We were the South Eugene Wrestlers. We were the tightest knit group in that whole school, and why? Because of Kenny. We didn't just go to tournaments, we had adventures. I remember so many of them. I remember Kenny asking me if why I was sitting so stilll at the Pleasant hill tournament. I told him becasue I didn't want to waste a single ounce of energy. I wanted to win my match. Most of the time I would go up to coach Kenny and tell him that I would win the match for him. And everytime I did, I won. After that tournament we were not to use our activity bus for aything other than school related functions, but we didn't care. We were family. So we went to the only place open, Subway. I remember Aaron not havin any money and asking the worker there if he could get anything for free, kenny laughed histerically. Kenny was more than just our coach though. He was our philosopher and teacher. Teaching us that life isnt about where we get, but how we get there. We would spend so many days after practice in circles. Our bodies so tired, drinking hot tea and speaking about life, death, adn our journeys. We would go to his house and do the same. Where he would offer us food, hot tea, and a seat. And what I remember most is what hurts the most. I's not that Kenny hated the military, but he believed so much in people. That there was no need to fight one another, and I could see it. It was so easy around kenny to see the best in the world, but in the end, I joined the military. I am now in the United States Marine Corps. And it hurts that I cannot say my last goodbyes to the most influential and greatest man in my life, because I am in Japan. And cannot see him. When I heard of the news I dropped everything and went hysterical. I spent that night awake and trying to find answers. I still can't believe that he is gone, but I realize, that though he is gone, his spirit, those nights of philosophy, and wonder, will always live on within each and every person he has spoken to. I will never ever forget in my life Kenny Cox. He was more than a man to me, he was everything I believe in. he will be so missed and loved forever.

    - Philip Armstrong
    SEHS Wrestler

  26. Kenny Cox was like a big brother to me. he was also my friend, my teamate, my mentor and a coach on and off the mat. Kenny was two years older and two weight classes above me. I had the advantage of learning from the best high school wrestler in the country everyday. the only difference between me and the other athletes kenny coached is that i was able to compete right alongside him. I was there when he won his fifth national title in fargo, I was also there when he won his state titles. For two seasons i traveled the country, went to camps and tried to follow pretty much everything kenny did. When i was in the eighth grade kenny took me to a church function at mccarthur court with his family, and it was there that i became a christian. Kenny had so much influence on me, i pretty much did anything he thought would help me to be succesful. i was average as a freshmen and missed state by one match, thats when kenny took me under his wing and showed me how it was done. kenny told me that there were many people stronger and faster than him, but when things got tough people didnt know what they were capable of. After wrestling with kenny all spring, doing saturday practices with so many guest clinicians, going to cobra camp, Jr. national camp, Jr. nationals, and then the Oregon intensive camp, then kenny told me the news i needed to here. He said you have done the work and you deserve it from here on out it is a mind set. If you believe you will be a state champion, then you wont allow yourself to be denied. The secret ingredient behind kenny Cox was doing the work the work so that you could trust that you deserved it more than your opponent, than just flat out setting your mind that you cant be stopped. That next season in 1997 Kenny won his third triple crown State championship, and i won a triple crown as well. Make no mistake i did not do everything Kenny did, how could i. after every practice, kenny would run wind sprints until hed cry and he kept going. it was the same at school with P.E and weight lifting. i can remember spotting kenny in the squat rack, he would go till he could not get it and then he would do ten more crying withmy help. everybody who was there remebers those days at school, at practice, and at camp. He inspired us all.
    after wrestling kenny remained a great friend. We went camping, swimming at the river, went to baseball games, and most important we talked. Kenny always wanted to know how you were and what you were up to. I believe this part of kenny was just part of a good up bringing by his parents and his family. I spoke with his parents a couple days ago, and it was the as talking with kenny, they truly cared about how i was doing. every couple of years Kenny and i would go to the wrestling room at churchill and hook it up, and it was always the same. Kenny would take me down until he was done and then he would let me do some scoring. I doubt i ever really scored a takedown on kenny, but when he let me think that i did, i felt invincible. I look forward to the day when kenny and I can go takedowns again.
    I will never forget the things you taught me. Thank you for being a great friend, a teammate, a mentor, and a big brother to me.
    Love your friend Travis Harrison

  27. Myke Vargas8/30/09, 3:14 PM

    There is so much to say. The problem being is that I dont know where to start. I thank you for so much. For creating some of the best wrestling camps that young wrestlers could have enjoyed. For teaching me so much about wrestling, and for being a friend. I will always remember you; you played such a large part in my life even though our paths went different directions our friendship was always true to heart.

    Myke Vargas

  28. Bobby 6 Crows8/31/09, 2:05 PM

    'Cause You Know, Those Ol Lancers don't ever die, We Just Go To the Big wrestling Show, Somewhere beyond the Sky,
    A Place Where His Warriors are A BIG Demand,
    And Once again Righteousness Shall Rock the Promise Land"

    George - I was around when Kenny was born, but I never knew him. Of course I heard of His accomplishments. Around 2000 I was playing Music down at a little Cafe on the Oregon Campus, I Played a song I wrote: "LancerPride" after I was done, Kenny came over Introduced his self, knowing I would know who he was and said "I am proud of what you are doing" - I had to ask him "What am I doing" He said: "you are doing it" - I told him I was damn Proud of Him.
    After reading every word that is on the net....
    I can't help but feel I know him,,,,
    George, You are the 2nd Father I know who had to bury A Son of thiers this Year...all I can say is
    It is all about eternity,,,,,

    NowI can finish writing the song, "Ol Lancers Don't ever die"
    I might need some help.

    Bobby Siix Crows Henderson
    The Riggin' Warriors of OFLA

    (Dylan Thomas)

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


  30. Anonymous said...
    kenny cox... i was in kalalau at big pool with my friend iolani and i was trying to jump off the high rock. finally i did and i spalshed this naked guy that was laying there sun bathing.. i swam up and said oh sorry brah my bad didn't mean to splash you. and he said no worries and hopped in the water. after that we talked a little and he said he'd take us to a big mango tree so we followed him into the woods off the trail. We hung out there and talked for a while. shared stories. kenny he said his name was. eventually we went our separate ways but i definately regarded him as a good guy. very friendly and he seemed real.
    a couple months later i was semi jogging into kalalau to meet up with some friends that were there and i bumped into kenny along the way. we looked at eachother and immediatley remembered one another. i was happy to see him and we took time to share more stories about what we've been up to. kenny was really living with nature. eating off the land. thats always been a dream of mine but i never really jumped off and did it full on. we exchanged emails and i saw just so happy i bumped into him. i thought to myself about the times i've been in kalalau and met cool people and i thought.. kenny, glad i met him along the way. good person. sadly later i heard from my dad that one of the kalalau people had died and i asked who it was and as soon as he said kenny my heart dropped. i still had the paper he had given me with his email right on my bathroom counter and i was recently thinking about sending him a letter but never got around to it. kenny was solid. followed his heart and spread the good things.. see you down the road brothah.. aloha a hui hou

  31. I was a freshman wrestler from Grants Pass, Oregon, attending the Oregon State Wrestling Tournament in 1996 and my whole world was wrestling. As I sat in the stands I saw the guys one after another that I looked up to most in the world come out and wrestle in the finals. When the lights dimmed for that 112 lb match the most amazing and memorable match I had ever watched took place. Kenny pinned Amos Hoyt in :52 seconds. I'll never forget Kenny standing with his arm raised and how absolutely stunned everyone was. I googled Kenny every now and again since the internet was invented and so you can imagine the shock and disbelief I'm feeling as I find news of his passing. I lost my little brother in a motorcycle accident a couple years ago so death has left a mark on my life and all I can say is let Kenny be immortalized as young and vibrant and full of life just as my little brother was. Kenny impacted me in the most positive way and I'll never forget the mark he left on my life.