Brother Donovan Vance Cox died Jan. 5, 2012, at his home in Minden, following a lengthy illness. Surrounded by family and friends, he went to be with his Savior in heaven at the age of 81. He was laid to rest at Gardens of Memory in Minden under the direction of Rockett Nettles Funeral Home of Coushatta. Visitation services were held at Sibley Missionary Baptist Church in Sibley and Magnolia Baptist Church in Coushatta.
Funeral services were held at Magnolia Baptist Church with Pastor John Grabanski officiating. Assisting were Brother Jeff Flenniken, Brother Bob Moore, Brother Wylann Cloud, Brother Randall Dawson and Brother Rene' Freret. A beautiful service commemorated the life of Donnie Cox with testimonies, comments and musical selections, most of which were his hand-picked favorites.
A dedicated servant of the Lord and God's people, Brother Donnie, as he was affectionately known, was born May 15, 1930 in El Dorado, Arkansas to Lillian and H. Jasper Cox. The family moved to Webster Parish where he met the girl who would become his wife, Bettye Walker. They married in 1948 and shared their first home together in Shreveport.
In 1955, Brother Donnie, Mrs. Bettye and their sons moved back to Minden when he took employment at CVOC. During this time he gave testimony of a commitment to God in his personal life that he maintained until the time of his death. The family moved to Coushatta in 1969, where Brother Donnie continued his career in the oil business at Placid Oil in Goldonna.
God gave new spiritual direction to Brother Donnie, who felt the Lord's calling into the ministry in the 1970s. He pastored a small church north of Coushatta for a couple of years and became Assistant Pastor at Magnolia in 1980. In 1981, Brother Donnie and Mrs. Bettye relinquished their jobs in obedience to God's call, assuming the role as full-time pastor. They faithfully maintained this position for more than 25 years. On April 15, 2007, Brother Donnie and Mrs. Bettye stepped down as full-time pastor.
Few people in Red River Parish and the surrounding communities did not know this couple. Their pastoral care was not limited to their own church family but included everyone who called with a need. Wherever Brother Donnie went Mrs. Bettye went with him ministering to people in all walks of life. Among these were the sick, the widows, the needy, the young and the old. He had weekly nursing home and radio ministries. He also provided routine services at the Council on Aging and the Ware Youth Center. Brother Donnie and Mrs. Bettye have been loving Christians, demonstrating positive attitudes and providing encouragement.
Brother Donnie is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Bettye Walker Cox; three sons, Donnie Cox, Jr. and wife, Lynn of Coushatta, Terry Cox and wife, Cissy of Coushatta and Doug Cox and wife, Athyl of Minden; six grandchildren, Amy Yarbrough and husband, Robert, Tammy Cloud and husband, Wylann, Rachel Cox, Tim Cox, Misty Walker and husband, Brian and Van Cox and wife, Nicole; eight great-grandchildren; eight nieces; one brother, William J. Cox of Keithville; sister-in-law, Dot Nicholson and husband, Pierce; and a host of friends.
Mrs. Bettye wishes to thank her sister and brother-in-law, Dot and Pierce Nicholson for their support during the time of her husband's illness.
In lieu of flowers, Brother Donnie wished for memorials to be made to BEAMS (Bible Education and Missionary Service). These can be sent to Magnolia Baptist Church, 4080 Highway 71, Coushatta, LA, 71019.