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Michael's Story

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Michael L. Cox, 72, died surrounded by loved ones late Wednesday afternoon, May 24, 2017 at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital following lingering health issues. Mike was born November 29, 1944 in Rushville, Ind., the oldest son of Milo and Mary Ann (Ayres) Cox.
He graduated from Rushville High School in 1963 and was a 1970 graduate of the Ball State University College of Business, and later the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He served in the U.S. Army from 1965-67, stationed at Fort Knox, Ky.
Mike served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of First Merchants Bank, N.A., Muncie, retiring in 2007. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of First Merchants from 1994-98; as President of the Information Systems Group at Ontario Corporation, 1981-94; Vice President and Office Manager, City Securities Corporation, 1975-1980; and Assistant Vice President and Investment Officer, Merchants National Bank, 1970-75.
Mike is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sharon (Smith) Cox of Muncie, whom he married on August 14, 1966. The couple has one son, Matt Cox, who resides in Muncie, and three grandchildren, Catherine Elizabeth, Chloe Anne and Reagan Michael Cox. He is also survived by his siblings, Jerry Cox (Suzanne) of Rushville, Sue Mullins (Dennis) of Bloomington, and Kathy Nikels (Robert) of Westminster, SC, as well as many nieces, nephews and their children, and a special friend to the family, Cindee Cox.
He is preceded in death by both of his parents.
Mike loved the Muncie Community and its people and participated in numerous volunteer boards and community affiliations including various chairmanships and directorships of the following boards: IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, Cardinal Health System, Pathologists Associated, Primary Care Delivery Corporation, Ball State University Foundation, Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Muncie Rotary Club, President, 1991-92; Muncie Redevelopment Commission, President, 1989-96; United Way of Delaware County, Campaign Chairman, 1988; Ball State University Alumni Council, President, 1978; recipient of the BSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1982 and a "Benny" award in 1981; Indiana Bankers Association, Chairman, 2006-07; and Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
Pas t community endeavors include Ball State University Cardinal Varsity Club and President's Club; Ontario Systems Corporation, Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Delaware Country Club, Boy Scouts of America, WIPB-TV, Muncie Children's Museum, Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Minnetrista Cultural Center, Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Goodwill Industries, and Junior Achievement. He previously served as an elder and chairman of the finance committee at First Presbyterian Church.
A man for all outdoor seasons, Mike enjoyed the wilderness and participated in fishing, hiking, mountain climbing and camping. He was an avid golfer and supporter of Ball State athletics, and led a group of Cardinal Greenway cyclists, who dubbed him "the Commish." Mike also enjoyed reading and projects around his homes in Muncie and near Bloomington, Ind.
Friends may call 4-7 pm, Wednesday, May 31, and 10-11 am, Thursday June 1, at First Presbyterian Church, 1400 W. Riverside Ave., Muncie. Memorial services will be held Thursday, June 1 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Ronald Naylor officiating.
Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Muncie, Cardinal Greenways, Inc., and the First Presbyterian Church.
The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements.Online condolences may be directed to the family at meeksmortuary.com.
Published on May 31, 2017
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