George Thomas “Tommy” Cox passed away peacefully on September 6, 2023 after an extremely short illness. Tommy left this world with more drama than when he arrived, as was his nature.
Tommy was born on September 14, 1948 in Houston, Texas to Joy Qualls Cox and Tommy C. Cox, Jr., of Gonzales, TX. He grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, in Harlingen, a place he held close to his heart. His childhood and high school years are legendary to his friends who loved and embraced his style of adventure and penchant for troublemaking.
Tommy studied at the University of Texas in Austin where he attended every Longhorn game, ate at the back of Cisco’s and worked part time at Reynolds-Penman on the drag as one of the first suit salesmen and in his spare time, moonlighting as an employee at the local funeral home.
He found his calling when a barge loaded with #2 oil was stranded in the Port of Brownsville with no apparent buyer. Tommy knew a guy that knew a guy, and that was his introduction into the petrochemical business. He moved to Houston and learned the business from Ed Zagrodsky, partnering on numerous legendary oil trades during their 30-year association.
Tommy formed Garrett Oil Corporation in 1983 and contributed to the industry immensely through the Southwest Chemical Association and was elected the organization’s president in the 1990s. Tommy was an exceptionally successful oilman who garnered admiration and respect from industry peers.
At the turn of the century, he relocated to Gonzales, TX, where he re-established his grandparents' property as "La Sendera.” He had a passion for the people of Gonzales which led him to build the Heights nursing home and restore the Oak Forest historical bridge on the corners of his property. He was also a proud member of the local Rotary Club.
Out of all his accomplishments and positions he held, the most important to him was Dad and his relationship with his three children. When Garrett’s sisters lost their father, Tommy took on the role of “Dad” or “TC” to Tierney and Erin Ann, making sure they were taken care of until the day he passed. He attended every Lacrosse game for Garrett, following him to Colorado as the first lacrosse goalie from TX to make the All-American team. Tommy supported Tierney in all accomplishments and was a cheerleader through every life obstacle and together they shared a passion for travel. He was an enthusiast of Erin Ann’s equestrian show jumping in driving the airstream across the country while following her competitions. Whether on the ranch, at the beach, or mountain trips, the time with his children was his most cherished memories. Making sure they and his niece and nephew were loved and taken care of until the day he passed, he was an amazing advocate in all they do.
Tommy was a seventh-generation Texan and member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas - and he was proud of it. He loved his cows, dove hunting, the Texas Longhorns, family genealogy and his close friends. He was one-of-a-kind, full of life and selfless, always giving and refusing to take. He liked to be called TC but some of his friends referred to him as “Talks Tommy Talks” because he never stopped talking until he made his point. He leaves friends in Gonzales, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and all over the country.
He is preceded in death by his ever-loving mother, Joy Marie Qualls Cox and his beloved chocolate lab, Sendera. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Garrett Thomas Cox and Berkeley Ramsbottom Cox, his daughters, Tierney Grace Oakes and Erin Ann Oakes, along with their mother, his former wife, Jan Tolson. He is also remembered by his beloved sister, Cathy Cox, and her children: Christa L. Craven, Chad M. Craven and wife Andrea Craven, along with their children Charlotte Joy and Jackson. He leaves behind his two kitties, Kitty and Lil’ Nan, who were the most spoiled cats in Gonzales County. He also leaves behind his countless friends who were family, including Houston Yarbrough, John Heck, Harry Perrin, Mike McKinney, Bud Jewitt, Cindy Munson and Martin Garcia and by many relatives in Gonzales and Texas.
A Life Celebration Service will be held at a later date. Friends may leave their condolences to the family by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome. In lieu of flowers, please share donations in spirit of Tommy to: MD Anderson and Friends of Gonzales Animal Shelter. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, Gonzales.