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10/04/2004 ~ On the morning of October 4th, Dr. Otha P. Cox, Keys Energy Services' (KEYS) longest serving Utility Board member, succumbed to illness and brought to a close a distinguished career of public service.

Dr. Cox was first elected to the Utility Board of the City of Key West in 1979, and most recently served as vice chairman. He retired from the Monroe County School Board, where he served with distinction in various capacities, finishing as Assistant Superintendent of Schools. His duties and responsibilities carried him from Key West throughout the state and nation where he made numerous contacts and formed important alliances. Dr. Cox’s expertise in the area of measurement and evaluation was recognized during his professional career and led to his involvement in the evaluation of public schools and college/university programs.

“His knowledge of every aspect of the utility and commitment to this community was vast and far reaching,” said Robert R. Padron, Utility Board chairman, “the void left by his passing will not soon be filled.”

Dr. Cox received numerous awards and recognition for his excellent pursuits in both education and the public power industry in Florida and throughout the nation. He was nominated for the prestigious Ida Baker Distinguished Florida educator Award, received the 1995 American Public Power Association’s (APPA’s) Spence Vanderlinden Public Official Award – a national honor awarded by the APPA for outstanding public service in the public power industry, and was awarded the Florida Memorial College Board Member of the Year Award.

In additional to the Utility Board and the Monroe County School District, Dr. Cox was involved in a variety of philanthropic and civic endeavors. He was the founder and chair of the Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration and Scholarship Committee; chair of the Betty T. Cox Memorial Scholarship Fund; member of the Monroe County Executive Roundtable; past member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Policy Makers Advisory Council of APPA; past treasurer of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council; and trustee of Florida Memorial College. He also generously shared his expertise as he served as a consultant to the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, colleges, universities, and public school districts.

Dr. Cox earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from North Carolina A&T State University, his Masters of Science from the State University of New York, and his Ph. D. from Michigan State University. He graduated from Michigan State University with highest honors and was elected to the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Dr. Cox passed away Monday morning after a long struggle with illness. He leaves behind two children, Deborah Barnett and Marcie Cox, and four grandchildren.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire KEYS family are with the Cox family during this difficult time,” said Carl Jansen, KEYS General Manager & CEO.

Details on funeral services have not yet been made available.

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