Claude Calvin Cox, 90, left this world to be with his beloved wife, Gloria, on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Claude was born December 9, 1928 in Denton, Texas, to Claude Cecil and Olive Neff Cox.
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Claude loved life, his family and his God. He was never happier than when he was with his family and friends.
Claude grew up in Denton, and went to “normal” school, a part of North Texas State Teachers College. He graduated from North Texas State Teachers College with a degree in Journalism and from the University of Kansas earning a Master’s Degree in Psychology.
Claude and several of his friends joined the Navy Reserve because they wanted to learn to fly. Claude was called up as a pilot in the Korean Conflict, flying F9F Panthers off the USS Boxer in 286 missions, and reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Following his service, he worked as regional newsman in New York and Los Angeles. It was during a stint with the television program Texas in Review, that Claude met Gloria. In March of 1956, Claude did a story on the Dallas Public Library Bookmobile. Gloria Dice was driving the bookmobile, providing books and reading to children in Dallas. It was a fast courtship as Claude and Gloria were married in June of 1956.
In 1957, as Claude moved to KRLD as Assistant News Director, their first daughter, Gloria, was born. Their second daughter, Barbara, was born in 1959. In 1961, Claude became Public Relations Director of Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags over Georgia when that park was added later.
Claude’s work for the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission would touch the lives of thousands of teenagers around the world. Claude created and produced the Top 40 radio shows POWERLINE and SoulSearcherS, and others, as well as doing interviews to be aired on MasterControl. Based around popular music, POWERLINE, aired on approximately 1000 stations nationwide at its peak, joined secular music with brief messages designed to give hope and comfort to kids in a confusing and chaotic world. But it was the messages Claude wrote that truly changed lives. Thousands of listeners to POWERLINE wrote in each year. One listener wrote of his teenage experience in the early 70s, “I could understand that there was more in this world, more in the love of God, than my little mind could initially appreciate. POWERLINE helped me realize that no matter how miserable and painful my life could be at that very moment, there is hope. There is faith.” In 1973 Claude was honored by the Religious Heritage of America with the Faith and Freedom Award, for creativity and effectiveness in reaching and ministering to youth through the youth-oriented, nationally syndicated radio program POWERLINE that blends non-religious music with spiritual messages and counseling service. In 1977 he was tasked with revamping The Baptist Hour. Claude’s goal was “making it entertaining in an informative way and make it so good listeners will forget it’s good for them”.
While working for CBS, Texas in Review, Six Flags, and the Radio TV Commission shows he interviewed many interesting people ranging from President Harry S. Truman, while sitting on oil drums, as the story goes, to Jayne Mansfield, to Billy Graham to Reggie Jackson. It was during one such interview that he met Ken Taylor, translator of The Living Bible. The outcome of that interview was Ken asking Claude and his business partner Ed Malone, to work on orchestrating the advertising and public relations for the Bible’s release and distribution, including providing The Living Bible to POWERLINE listeners. A challenge he took on enthusiastically.
Claude traveled extensively in his work and, whenever possible, scheduled it so he could take his family with him, on adventures they will never forget. From flooding in Washington, DC, to what seemed like every theme park in Florida, to accidently being in Chicago during the riots, to being stuck on a cruise ship in Athens harbor when Nixon resigned, Greece pulled out of NATO and went to war with Turkey over Cyprus. The memories will last a lifetime.
Claude and Gloria loved being a part of First Christian Church, Arlington where he served as an Elder Emeritus, Elder, Chairman of the Board, Sunday School teacher and other positions. In keeping with his communications background, Claude was instrumental in starting and running the TV ministry at First Christian Church, Arlington.
Claude is proceeded in death by his beloved Gloria. He is survived by his daughters Gloria Fahrenthold (husband Jon), and Barbara Cox, and his granddaughter Katherine Fahrenthold.
Wade Family Funeral Home