The former trustee could see the humorous parts in a debate, a colleague said.
BOARDMAN -- Friends and colleagues describe John Cox, a former township trustee who died of leukemia, as passionate and hard-working.
Cox, 62, served as a township trustee from 1990 until 2001, when he was defeated by Kathy Miller. Cox was then appointed deputy director of the Mahoning County Green Team, a position he held until retiring in December.
Ten of those years was alongside Trustee Elaine Mancini.
"I would describe him as a hard-working trustee," Mancini said. "He always worked in the best interests of the community. We had a lot of discussions, lot of debates and lot of decisions."
He respected the office and the community, she said.
She recalled Cox's involvement in the creation of the Coalition of Large Urban Townships, or CLOUT.
"He jumped on this and really fought to get it recognized and he served as its president for two years," Mancini said.
She said Cox, through CLOUT pushed for the state Legislature to empower large, urban townships with more powers.
"We all worked together in those days, we were all on the same page," Mancini said.
She also remembers his sense of humor.
"He had an Irish wit about him," Mancini said. "He could see the humorous side of a debate."
Ed Reese, a former Mahoning County commissioner, knew Cox for years, the past 20 through politics.
"He had a passion for public service that I've yet to see equaled," Reese said, referring to both his years as a trustee and those as Green Team deputy director.
Reese was among the people who was with Cox when he died Thursday night.
"He was jovial until the end," he said. "He made sure that his buddies were called to say goodbye."
Reese referred to Cox's budget consciousness.
Cox was a trustee during construction of the Boardman Government Center.
"He made sure it was on time, under budget, and he kept close tabs on the bills," Cox said.
The late former trustee also was a great storyteller.
"He was full of life, passionate, straight forward and honest," Reese said.
Cox maintained high spirits until his last breath, he said.
"The way he lived and died with dignity and character is something I'll never forget," Reese said.