Vernon Cox of Chattanooga, Tenn., went to be with the Lord on Dec. 31, 2018, surrounded by his loved ones. Vernon was born in Chattanooga to the late F. Holland Sr. and Nell Weaver Cox. He was a member of Brainerd Baptist Church, and formerly of Central Baptist, Woodmore. He served faithfully at both churches in any area where he could be of service, including Sunday School Director and Teacher, Deacon Chairman, and various committees. He was currently the teacher of Friendship Bible Class at Brainerd Baptist. He was a former trustee of Carson Newman University and board member of many other Christian organizations. His life was built on the foundation of belief in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. In gratitude for the gift of life he endeavored to follow Him and encourage others. He was named a distinguished alumnus of Central High School; he graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He continued training at the University of Michigan and the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA. He was a former FBI agent and a World War II veteran of the U.S. Air Force which included serving for 16 months in the Philippines and occupied Japan. He was a former President and CEO of InterFed Bank which was previously Chattanooga Federal Savings and Loan Association, he also served his community as President of the Chattanooga Kiwanis Club and the Greater Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Chattanooga Leadership Prayer Breakfast, and Civilian Chairman of the Armed Forces week celebration. For his investment in the community, Vernon received the Kiwanis distinguished service award, the Chattanooga bar association Liberty Bell award, and the Goodwill Ambassador of the year award. He enjoyed recalling a humorous moment from the Goodwill award dinner where NFL quarterback Payton Manning spoke at the time Vernon commended Goodwill for its love and service to the community. He expressed his gratitude for having been the receiver of many good things, including good parents, his family, the privilege of being born in the United States, a wonderful business opportunity in Chattanooga, as well as the award from Goodwill. He said he was a receiver of the generous grace, unmerited favor, joy, peace, and abundant life of the Lord Jesus Christ. At this point, Peyton Manning threw him a football, he caught it and proudly proclaimed he was a receiver for Peyton Manning. Vernon was a gracious, caring husband, father, teacher, counselor, and friend who possessed many gifts. He had a wonderful sense of humor, loved people, and his daily prayer was to be led by God. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 65 years, Genevieve Cobleigh Cox; son, Vernon Cox Jr.; and brother, F. Holland Cox Jr. He is survived by his son, Martin Cox and wife Dellene; daughters, Carolyn Cox, Allison Nichols; granddaughters, Kelly Palasky and husband Chris, Rachel Morris and husband Chandler; and his devoted companion, Martha Erwin, all of whom he dearly loved. The family expresses grateful appreciation to Erlanger East Hospital and the staff for their excellent care. A funeral service will be held at 12 noon on Monday, Jan. 7, at Brainerd Baptist with Rev. Jim Gibson officiating. Burial will follow at Chattanooga National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Partnership for Families and Children, Brainerd Baptist Church, or a charity of your choice. Please visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share words of comfort to the family. The family will receive friends on Sunday, Jan. 6, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Rd.