|Birth: ||Sep. 19, 1907|
|Death: ||Feb. 12, 2004|
County mourns loss of Judge Ted Coxsey
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
By Mary Pat Boian
Lovely County Citizen, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
BERRYVILLE -- Carroll County lost a longtime, industrious resident with the death of the Honorable Ted P. Coxsey on Thursday, Feb. 12. He was 96.
County buildings in Berryville and Eureka Springs, circuit court and the county judge's office were all closed Tuesday, Feb. 17 for Judge Coxsey's funeral.
Coxsey was born Sept. 19, 1907 in Green Forest, one of four children of William Poynor and Grace (Wells) Coxsey.
State Senator Randy Laverty lauded Coxsey as an extraordinary man with great magnetism and an astute sense of the law, but even such high praise falls short of the full and passionate life Judge Coxsey lived.
Known as a consummate storyteller, Coxsey was remembered for the gift of recalling "almost everything about everyone. He made it his business to know people's families, histories and community connections," said a long-time acquaintance. "If he knew you, he would say, 'I know your people.' He put stock inyour heritage."
"He had an old-school eloquence and he loved the English language. He recited poetry and Scripture, and he knew words and their proper use. I'm at a loss of words to use about him," said another friend.
Coxsey began his 75-year law career in 1929 as Berryville city attorney. He served two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives and six years as deputy prosecuting attorney. After three years in the Marine Corps during World War II, he was appointed circuit judge for the 4th Judicial District.
In 1947, Coxsey was elected prosecuting attorney for Washington, Madison, Benton and Carroll counties, and held that position longer than anyone else has, 22 years. In 1969 he was elected chancery judge for Carroll, Madison and Benton counties, a position he held until his 1977 retirement. He then joined his son, Kent, in private practice in Berryville, where he stayed until his death.
"Judge Coxsey was from old pioneer stock," said a business acquaintance. "He knew both sides of everybody's family and he knew what he called 'the good Democrats.' He was from a time when people didn't move around much, so he could keep track of people's genealogy. He was on the board of the bank in Green Forest, and when someone needed a significant loan, he knew if the family had a history of being reliable or being scoundrels. He said family trees were a good way to establish a person.
"Another thing, he's the only person who ever graduated from Green Forest High School twice. He graduated, then the school upped its credit requirements, so he went back and took the courses and graduated again."
Coxsey was a member of Berryville Rotary, and known to give the most eloquent introductions which others said they didn't want to end. "He was a walking history book of this area. Even without that, he could spin a mesmerizing tale. He simply loved people."
He was a Masonic Lodge member for more than 50 years, and a member of the First Christian Church of Berryville.
Coxsey is survived by a daughter, Cynthia and her husband Darsol Caton of Villa Hills, Ky.; a son, Kent, and his wife, Jo Coxsey of Berryville; four grandchildren, Danielle and Andrea Caton of Villa Hills, Ky.; and Hillary and Jaren Coxsey, both of Fayetteville; and a nephew, Richard Coxsey of Hanford, Calif.
On Jan. 17, 1942 he married Shirley Ree (Hanby) Coxsey, who died in 1979. Two brothers, Lyle and Lloyd, and a sister, Leota Hudson, preceded him in death.
Interment was at Berryville Cemetery, and memorial donations may be made to the First Christian Church in Berryville or First United Methodist Church in Green Forest.
"You know, he was born in Green Forest but lived his adult life in Berryville," laughed a friend. "He always said two towns claimed him, and both towns claimed he was from the other one."
William Poynor Coxsey (1881 - 1942)
Grace E. Wells Coxsey (1883 - 1910)
Billye Adron Belote Coxsey (1910 - 1940)
Theodore "Ted" Pettit Coxsey (1907 - 2004)
Kelley Coxsey (1910 - 1910)*
Leota Coxsey Hudson (1912 - 1970)**
Berryville Memorial Cemetery
Maintained by: Cemseekersue
Originally Created by: Rosa Cline
Record added: Jan 23, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13097973
Added: Nov. 12, 2009
Tread lightly, 'tis a soldiers grave,
A lonely, mossy mound;
And yet to hearts like mine and thine
It should be holy ground.
Speak softly, let no careless laugh,
No idle, thoughtless jest,
Mary Bob McClain
Added: Jan. 23, 2006