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Norman Ross Cox Jr.

September 9, 1944 –
 August 1, 2023


Norman Ross Cox, Jr. beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother died August 1, 2023. Norm, who was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia to parents Norman Ross Cox, Sr. and Virginia Cox, would be the first of four sons.

As fate would have it, Norm met the love of his life, Cheryl Gary, at a George Wythe High School pep rally when the cheerleader clocked the unsuspecting JROTC cadet straight in the head with her pom pom. From high school sweethearts to over five decades of wedded bliss, Norm and Cheryl remained a devoted couple from that moment forward.

After graduating from Virginia Tech with a BA in History, Norm entered the military as a second lieutenant. He served two years overseas in Frankfurt, Germany before concluding his military career with a one-year stint in Vietnam. In 1970, Norm retired with the rank of captain.

Norm began the next stage of his professional life by earning a master’s in criminal justice from Auburn University. Upon graduating, he accepted a teaching position at UT San Antonio. But as fate would have it once more, the teaching gig was short lived and his next job, as Director of the Bexar County Jail, launched Norm’s enduring career of service in Corrections. For the 40 years that followed, Norm led several Corrections companies as a management consultant to federal, state, and local government entities. He also served as a senior executive and consultant in the private corrections industry, including as President and COO of Cornell Cox (now Cornell Corrections) from its founding in 1989 to 1996, just prior to its public offering. In sum, Norm provided consulting services to over 100 state and local correctional agencies and was certified by five Federal District Courts as an expert in correctional planning and management.

As Vice President, Reentry Initiatives for Prison Fellowship (PF) and President of the InnerChange Freedom Initiative from February 2004 to August 2011, Norm was responsible for twelve pre-release/reentry programs across five states, the Out4Life Reentry Campaign, and the Prison Fellowship National Resource Center in Houston, Texas. Norm described the goal behind these faith-based programs in this way, “We want to give the individual prisoner the opportunity to change through spiritual transformation. Once that occurs, you’re dealing with an entirely new person, and they’re eager to have a new value system.”

Norm’s work in corrections throughout the years was an extension of his faith. He worked tirelessly advocating on behalf of others, and over his long career, changed the lives of countless individuals. His devotion would often come full circle, as those whose lives he helped to turn around would continue to share their enduring appreciation to him and to his family.

Those who survive him will miss his endless optimism and humor most: Devoted wife of 56 years Cheryl Cox, children Norman Ross Cox, III (wife Kerry) and Kendall Purpura (husband Chris) ; grandchildren Kyler and Bracken Purpura ; brothers, Linwood Cox (wife Yvonne), Marvin Cox (wife Terri) and Jeffrey Cox (wife Ingrid); and sister-in-law Dianne Melick (husband Gary).

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Arrangements under the direction of:

Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home

19310 Preston Road

Dallas, Texas 75252


    Julia Daniel
    18 Aug 2023

    This was so beautifully written. It gave me such insight into the Norm I did not get to know. I am praying for the whole family, especially Cheryl. I saw her unwaivering devotion everyday.
    Because of her Norm was very well cared for. They were highly regarded in the retirement community where they lived his last years and left such a positive impact on everyone because of the demonstration of love and care exhibited between them. Blessings on all!!!

      26 Aug 2023

      Thanks so much, Julia. You’ve been such a great support to Cheryl and the family!

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"I can’t say enough about how helpful and professional Dusty Martin, the funeral director at the Aria Cremation location on NW Highway has been. From my initial call, he was kind and informative. My friend died at home while on hospice and she was picked up in about an hour after receiving the call from the hospice nurse. The person who arrived to pick her up was also very professional/respectful and allowed us to take as much time with her as we wished. When I met with Dusty the next day about arrangements, he explained the process and options available without being pushy or trying to “sell” extras. Throughout the process, he kept me informed and, for example, was careful to be certain I understood the cost of the obituary I wanted and offered some options for reducing that cost if I wished. When I stopped by for another reason and started talking about some of the problems I was having with the pictures and media I hoped to use at a memorial lunch I was planning, he not only listened patiently but offered technology advice and let me use his personal media player. I have had experience arranging cremations for four others using two other local companies, and this experience with Dusty at Aria has been by far the best one I have had."
Paula Barnes
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"My Daddy’s service and our family experience at Aria Northwest Highway was truly blessed. Funeral Director Dustin Martin is the kind of person that you would like to see on a more regular basis – but in his industry – you hope to not see him that often. That being said – THANK YOU DUSTIN for your unending kindness, compassion and friendship through the process. Meeting you and discussing Dallas History, Find A Grave and my Dad’s lifelong contributions to the great City of Dallas was simply wonderful! In memory of my dad James A. Dodd, Sr. – I want to personally thank you and let you know that you made everything better in that moment. Your calling to “Be There” is spot on. Aria has a one in a million guy in you! Bling Blinky of TEXAS Shout Out: God Bless You!!"

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