NEW ALBANY – That Kim Cox died a violent death could not be ignored at her funeral on Wednesday.
Cox, 40, died after being shot Saturday when her estranged husband, David Neal Cox Sr., reportedly invaded her sister Kristie Salmon’s home just outside of Sherman and held SWAT officers at bay for several hours late Friday night and into early Saturday. She and three of her four children had moved in with Salmon after David Cox bonded out in April after several months in jail on several drug and sex charges.
Cox, 39, now is charged with capital murder and three counts of kidnapping.
In a coincidence that her relatives recalled as a crushing emotional blow, he was released the very day Kim’s mother died after a year-long illness.
Kim Cox’s loved ones, though, say they’ll remember her as a strong and loving mother, sister and daughter more than as a victim.
Kim Cox had dreams. One was of having a classic muscle car and sharing the freedom of the open road with her disabled son, David Neal Cox Jr.
She loved music – especially anything by Kid Rock or Blake Shelton. One of the songs played at her funeral, “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” is a story about a grandmother looking down on her family back on earth.
“She’d bought that song for her kids after Mama died,” Salmon, 38, said.
But family was her reason for living.
“She was just a good mother; she loved her babies; she tried to protect them and was trying to take care of them,” said her stepmother, Melody Kirk.
Salmon recalled her sister as a protector even in their youth.
“Every time we got in trouble, she took the blame,” she said. “Even if I did it.”
Their brother, Kelly Kirk, 33, said she never quit mothering her siblings. One night not long ago he had car trouble, and she gave him a ride home.
“She never really should have come and gotten me, because she didn’t have enough gas in her car,” he said. “She just said, ‘Well, if we run out of gas, at least you won’t be alone.’”
Kim Cox had made sure her dad, Benny, got to physical therapy when he had a knee replaced.
She was the one that little sister Ashley Kirk could come to with a problem, “and she would help me come to (Mama and Daddy) if I was scared.”
She sought her father’s advice, but “had a mind of her own,” Melody Kirk said.
One of the things that her family will miss most about Kim Cox was her frequent calls and visits – the ones that kept the rest of the family closely connected.
“If the family needed to know something,” Salmon said, “you called Kim.”
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal