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E. M. (Ted) Cox
Bill Stroecker Foundation (Founding Member)

The Collected Writings,
Recollections and Musings

Ted was born July 12, 1929, in Moline, Illinois, to Elmer and Marguerite Cox. After graduating from high school in 1939, Ted decided to come to Alaska to attend the university in Fairbanks. His stepmother tried to bribe him with a new car if he would attend the University of Illinois. After Ted casually mentioned he might delay school and join the circus for a year or two, his parents never discouraged him again from traveling north. Other than a year in 1941 to work as a payroll clerk for West Coast Co., which had the contract for the Portage Tunnel to Whittier, and a short time in the army, he chose never to miss another winter in Fairbanks.

In 1946, Ted and Jean were married at the Earl and Pat Cook cabin at Harding Lake. In 1950, they welcomed their daughter, Margaret, and moved to their Well Street home. The Well Street neighbors became extended families with lifetime ties. In the mid ’50s, Ted and Jean purchased a lot at Harding Lake and built a cabin. Every Friday after work, Ted, Jean, Margaret and the golden retriever would pile into the station wagon and head to the lake. He waterskied for years and took his last ride on his 70th birthday. In the ’70s, Ted and Jean moved to their Riverview Drive home, where they again became good friends with their neighbors.

After graduating from UAF in 1947, Ted worked for Ray Kohler, and then opened an office with Fred Randall. He later opened his own office, and in 1999 merged with Walsh, Kelliher and Sharp. At 95, when he decided to let his certified public accounting license lapse in 2015, he was the oldest practicing CPA in Alaska. In the late ’50s, Ted was on the City Council and served as acting mayor when George Sullivan moved to Anchorage. Ted was active in the Retriever Club, League of Alaskan Cities and Rotary Club, of which he was president 1967-68. He started curling in 1958, and was president in the ’60s and ’80s. In 1990, he started the Curling Foundation. Many years he traveled to the Lower 48 to curl in the Senior Bonspiel. His last curling game was in 2013 at 92. In high school, he walked the tight rope and golfed; in Alaska, he snow-skied, waterskied, curled and enjoyed gardening and duck hunting.