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Charles Cozzens Sr. '53 December 15, 2021 3:34 PM updated: December 15, 2021 4:09 PM

Charles Richard Cozzens Sr,
January 9, 1931 - December 14, 2021

Charles Richard Cozzens Sr, age 90, passed away peacefully on December 14, 2021 surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Charles was born in Texas City, (Galveston County) TX on January 9, 1931, to George Francis Cozzens and Lottie Ellen Benedict Cozzens. He graduated from Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas(Texas A&M University) and commissioned a 2nd LT of Field Artillery US Army in 1953. He met the love of his life, Martha Ann Hetherington while teaching vacation bible school at First Baptist Church Texas City. They married on December 5, 1953, with barely 2 pennies to rub together, they made their way to Ft Bliss, Texas, and later to Camp Chaffee, AR.

Charles, Martha, and their four young, rambunctious sons(plus a dog and cat) moved from Waco, Texas to Memphis, TN after Charles accepted a teaching position at Memphis State University. He served on faculty for over 20 years and retired as the associate dean of the Engineering and Technology Department in 1990. In addition to his career as an educator, Charles honorably served on active duty and in reserve components in the US Army for 30 years, commanding Reserve Infantry and Field Artillery units and serving in staff positions. Charles also retired as the Commandant(Colonel, O-6) of the USAR School in Memphis, TN in 1982.

At an early age, Charles came under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and became a follower of Jesus Christ (be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure, Charles loved the hymn" Rock of Ages") and, over the last 80 years, has served in many Southern Baptist churches in numerous teaching and leadership roles. In 1990, Charles and Martha joined First Evangelical Church, Memphis, where he taught high school Sunday School and lead multiple Bible studies.

Charles was a loving husband, father, grandfather (Opah), great grandfather, brother, uncle, educator, artillery officer, farmer, hunter, carpenter, apiarist, prankster, introvert, and friend. He was a man of many interests, including planting over 5000 oak and pine trees on his farm, thinning out the deer population, while possessing an incredible work ethic, and high integrity. While in rehab at the Memphis Jewish Home, he loved to reason with the rabbi and learn the proper preparation of kosher venison. He loved to tell Himself jokes and took great joy in teasing everyone, especially his wife Martha(hiding Christmas presents and setting clocks ahead to get to Church on time).

He was preceded in death by his parents, George Francis Cozzens and Lottie Ellen Benedict Cozzens, his brothers, George and Ralph Cozzens, and his eldest granddaughter, Amanda Cozzens McElrath.

Charles is survived by his wife of 68 years, Martha Hetherington Cozzens, sons Charles Jr. (Linda) Cozzens of Collierville, Stephen (Barbara) Cozzens of Blissfield, MI, Jeffry (Cathy) Cozzens of Bartlett, and Jonathan (Janet) Cozzens of Germantown and a sister, Margaret Ann Cozzens of Crosby, TX. Charles had 8 living grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

The family requests your presence at A Celebration of Life held in his honor at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens 3700 North Germantown Parkway, Bartlett, TN on 20 Dec at 2 o'clock. Visitation will be for 1 hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the following:
(Missions First Evangelical Church, Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, University of Memphis, or the Charity of your choice)

 



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