Christian 12

Rev. Dr. Howard H. Cox

March 18, 1924 ~ April 15, 2022 (age 98)

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Death Notice

Rev. Dr. Howard H. Cox, 98, died peacefully on April 15, 2022, at St. Luke's Hospital, Bethlehem, PA, after a brief illness. From humble beginnings on a farm near Titusville, NJ, he had a long and distinguished career as a professor and scholar. His remarkable life began as the youngest of five children of Frank and Marie Cox, growing up with no electricity or plumbing. After serving in the US Army during World War II, he graduated from Penn State University, where he met his future wife, Shirley Peet, through their mutual passion for music. They were lovingly married for 70 years, until her death in November 2020. Following graduate studies at Harvard University, Union Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary, he earned a Master of Divinity degree and a doctorate in theology. Upon ordination, he served as pastor of Fort Hamilton Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY, from 1952 to 1955, then as professor of Old Testament at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, PA, from 1960 to 1989. In 1961, he participated in the excavation of a Roman theater in Petra, Jordan. A lifelong advocate for equality and justice, he joined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington, where he heard Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. He loved singing in vocal groups, notably the Harvard Glee Club and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem. A long-time member of the Society of Biblical Literature, he published many scholarly articles and books. In 1985, he authored "The Calov Bible of JS Bach," using cutting-edge technology to authenticate the great composer's handwritten notes. He belonged to the Moravian Church, attending College Hill and then Central Moravian, where he taught the Friendship Bible class until shortly before his death. Blessed with good health and a sharp mind, he lived in the house he and Shirley built, where he enjoyed cooking, tinkering, and growing tomatoes. He is survived by four children: Martha Cox Popichak (Andy Popichak) and Sara Cox of Bethlehem, Emily Cox (Henry Rathvon) of Lemoyne, PA, and Jonathan Cox (Eleanor Bush) of Pittsburgh, and grandchildren Josh Popichak, Sylvia Popichak, Abigail Cox, Charlotte Cox, and Hannah Hook, as well as his beloved cat, Ginger. Donations may be made in his honor to New Bethany Ministries, Bethlehem, PA. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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