Christopher Mitchell Cox

Christopher Mitchell Cox, beloved husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend passed away on January 6, 2017, surrounded by friends and family. The death was caused by complications from a stroke. He loved his time on Chebeague Island.

Born in Norwalk, CT in 1945, son of Thomas Riggs Cox Jr. and Elizabeth Mitchell Cox Manternach, he started his education in the Wilton public schools. After his family moved to Farmington, CT, he attended the Brooks School, where he was a three-varsity athlete, and Lake Forest College, where he played varsity hockey. Chris found a love for educating and inspiring young people through a teaching career in Hartford and Puerto Rico. Following teaching he earned his masters degree from Antioch College and became a college advisor in the Cape Elizabeth, ME school system, where his legacy of uplifting others began to shine.

While living on the coast of Maine he found his true calling of connecting history, culture, and people into exciting opportunities that improved communities. The first was a boat building and journalism school in Kennebunkport, ME. Following marriage to the love of his life, Marie, he moved to Hartford, CT to lead the development team at the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in 1980. He became Associate Director of the Wadsworth in 1987 and was deeply involved in the founding of the Amistad Center. In 1988 with a growing family in tow, he and Marie moved to Mystic, CT and found a community where Chris was able to contribute his imagination and forward-thinking generosity. He became vice president for development and communications for Mystic Seaport, a position he held for 15 years that allowed him to converge his love of history and the sea. Colleagues at the Seaport remember him as a charming and creative mentor who contributed to the building of the Collections Research Center and the schooner AMISTAD.

After many successful years at the Seaport, Chris served as a consultant and fundraiser for Plimoth Plantation, Connecticut Public Broadcasting, The Connecticut Humanities Council, and Aid to Artisans, and worked for four years as vice president for institutional advancement at the Boston Architectural College. He returned to Mystic Seaport as campaign director for corporate relations for the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, a capstone to his career at the museum. Since his formal retirement, he fundraised for numerous non-profits in Connecticut, and was thrilled to be chairman of the Thames River Heritage Park.

Chris made artwork from photography and found objects that commemorated special memories for family and friends. He loved sailing and the boating community in Mystic and on the coast of Maine. His knowledge of the New England shoreline never failed to impress the most weathered waterman. Chris's infectious spirit and eccentric approach to life will be missed in the museums, breakfast joints and boatyards he so loved to visit. His talent for spinning a story, his hilarious toasts, and his big-hearted joy in the goodness of others will always be cherished by those who knew him.

Chris is mourned by his beloved wife of 36 years, Marie Cox, their children, William Cox of Princeton, NJ and Molly Cox of Washington, DC, stepmother Joan Cox of Bloomfield, CT, his sisters and their spouses, Mally and Jim Cox-Chapman of Hartford, CT, and Zabby Cox and Jack Helder of Okemos, MI, and his sister-in-law, Kay Cox. He was pre-deceased by his brother Tom Cox 18 months ago. His many loved nieces and nephews adored him, as did his cousin Diana Baker and his sister-in-law, Janet Culkins.

Chris's life will be celebrated at the Mystic Congregational Church on January 15, at 1:00 pm with the Reverend Ann Aaberg officiating. Burial will be private and there are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Thames River Heritage Park or Mystic Seaport. The Dinoto Funeral Home, 17 Pearl Street, Mystic is assisting the family.