Mar 22, 1939 – Feb 26, 2018
Courageous. Innovative. Entrepreneurial. Tenacious.
This sums up Reg his entire life until he left us on February 26, 2018 at his farm near Bashaw, Alberta after a brief battle with cancer. Reg was one month short of 79 years.
Reg was the sixth of nine children born to Alf and Daisy Cox and raised in the Gorrie District on the outskirts of Brandon, Manitoba.
At the age of 13, Reg quit school and started to work to help support his widow mother and the family.
He started driving coal truck and then delivered fruit to supermarkets into his adult years.
He met Angela and the two of them started their adventure together in Calgary, Alberta, where he drove truck for Coca-Cola, delivering products to restaurants and supermarkets.
Reg spent every free moment (including sitting at the back of the company’s business meetings) figuring with paper and pencil how he could afford to buy a farm.
In 1967, Reg, Angela, and three-year old daughter, Pat, moved to their new farm northwest of Sundre, which eventually would become known as “Springside Ranch”, building a commercial cow/calf operation and cleaning and brushing with his dozer to supplement income.
Evenings for Reg were spent working with pad and pencil, planning the farm finances or drawing schematics for making new inventions or making existing equipment better.
He would then head out to his unheated shop to start on a new creation or rebuild, often into the wee hours of the morning.
A cutting torch and welder to Reg were like a needle and scalpel to a surgeon.
Some of these inventions included stock trailers, bale handlers for pick-up trucks, and livestock squeezes, which he built for many neighbours!
Reg’s family grew with the arrival of the twins, Cathy and Christine, and he spent countless hours with his daughters working with horses and having fun skiing with them in the winter.
About 1980, Reg expanded his farming operation to custom silaging and a backgrounding feedlot, but was frustrated with the feeding system; the only way to feed silage was to drop feed into the bunks with a front-end loader or to purchase overpriced feedmixers from eastern Canada.
Reg took a ‘vacation’ to the central US region and found reasonably-priced mixers and imported his first two – one for him and one for his neighbour.
As friends and neighbours found out about these mixers, Reg started to import and service mixers and ‘Reg Cox Feedmixers’ was born.
Reg eventually moved the business from the Sundre farm to Red Deer (with a Lethbridge division) and very quickly it became the largest feedmixer business in Canada, still operating today.
Reg also created and sold “Cattlelac Cattle Handling Systems” because Reg believed a handling system should be ‘strong enough to process a buffalo’, exporting as far away as New Zealand.
In about 2003, Reg started a new chapter of his life with his partner, Bernadette (who misses him very much), on their farm west of Bashaw (Spotted Creek Coulee Ranch) where he ran yearling cattle in the summer and became successfully involved in cattle-penning competitions.
Reg leaves many, many memories with his daughters and their families: Pat Pedersen (Mitchell, Samantha, Justin, Nathan); Cathy and Darren Kolsun (Bailey, Ryan, Kade); Christine and Cam McLerie (Jillian and Cache). Reg is survived by his eldest and youngest brothers, Maxwell (Betty) and Wayne (Barb), sisters’-in-law, Pat, Dawn, and Enid; and many nieces and nephews who fondly remember their ‘Uncle Reg’.
Reg is predeceased by his parents, Alf and Daisy Cox, step-father Charlie Sanderson, sisters Donelda (Mel) Kearns, Gloria (John) Munro, Margaret Graham, Wilma (Clarence) Gilbert, and brothers Ken and Jim.
Producers in the beef and dairy cattle industry in Western Canada are mourning the loss of Reg, who made a lifelong commitment to help them care for their livestock. But among those who will miss Reg the most are his faithful employees, with whom he worked at his shop every day for several years.
Reg held his team of hard-working staff in the highest regard.
A service celebrating Reg’s life will be held Friday, March 9, 2018, 2:00 pm at Lacombe Memorial Centre, 5214 – 50 Avenue, Lacombe, Alberta.