George "Bill" Cox '57 September 5, 2023 3:40 PM updated: September 5, 2023 3:49 PM
George W. "Bill" Cox, M.D.
August 30, 1935 - May 14, 2023
George (Bill) W. Cox MD departed this life on May 14, 2023 at his home in Galveston, TX after a courageous battle with cancer. He passed peacefully with family by his side. He was 87.
Bill was born on August 30, 1935 in a rural community near Santa Rosa, TX. He was the 5th of 6 children born to the late Mildred (nee Frazier) and James Cox. He was raised from an early age and throughout his life by his paternal aunt, Alice Fleming (nee Cox). He attended Santa Rosa High School, where he was a standout athlete. He excelled at baseball as a pitcher given his left handedness, played basketball and was also a football player.
He went on to Texas A&M University (1957) and then attended the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston where he earned his medical degree (1961). He spent a year in Manitowoc, WI in a general surgical internship (1962) and he then returned to UTMB for an orthopedic surgery residency (1968). He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio from 1962 until 1964. While in medical school, Bill met his lifelong partner, Romayne Silbernagel, who was then a physical therapist at UTMB.
Bill was beloved by his family, friends, colleagues and patients. For nearly 50 years, he practiced as an orthopedic surgeon in Galveston County. He performed thousands of surgeries, served as a mentor to hundreds of residents and medical students, and developed a reputation as a gifted surgeon and compassionate counselor. His medical career demonstrated a complete dedication to and great enjoyment of his profession. He was affectionately known by his patients for his dedication, high standards of care and warm bedside manner. Despite his academic and professional achievements, he was a humble man who earnestly cared for and appreciated people from all walks of life.
An avid outdoorsman, Bill fished and hunted throughout Galveston, Central America, Canada, Alaska and Rockport. In his early years he enjoyed beach fishing with friends along East Beach. Later he trolled the Gulf in his mini shrimp boat catching what he called “shrimp as big as kittens”. In the last 20 years he fished off shore with his longtime friend, Jerry Mount MD. They shared a fishing boat aptly named Bones & Stones. He was twice president of the Port Bay Hunting and Fishing Club in Rockport, TX and was the club’s longest standing member.
In addition to his private orthopedics practice, Bill was an assistant clinical professor at UTMB. Throughout his career, he served many leadership roles at St. Mary’s Hospital, UTMB and Mainland Medical Center. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has been recognized as a leader in his field and received many professional honors during his lifetime including Chief of Staff, former president of the Galveston County Medical Society and the recipient of the E. Burke Evans MD award (2014) for excellence in orthopedics.
Alongside his love of medicine and for the outdoors, Bill appreciated and collected art. Over the years, he assembled a significant collection of ancient antiquities. He was highly knowledgeable about wine and a long time member of the Galveston Oenophiles group. He loved all kinds of food which led him to join the food and wine society, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
He is survived by his daughters Alison (Rick), Christy and Sara as well as his grandchildren Georgia, Curtis, Elizabeth, Michael, Max and Jonah.
His wife, Helen Romayne, and son, William David, preceded him in death.
The family would like to acknowledge the extraordinary commitment of Nancy Cardenas, Crystal Saunders, Sherry Busby and Dee Busby in the last year of his life.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held on August 26, 2023 at 11:00 am at J. Levy & Termini Funeral Home, Galveston, with Pastor Aaron Sanders officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in memory of George W. Cox, MD to Galveston Meals on Wheels, the Galveston Salvation Army or a charity of your choice.