Samuel David Cox

April 28, 1971October 14, 2020

Samuel David (Dave) Cox was called home to be with the Lord on October 14, 2020. Dave was born on April 28, 1971 in Clinton, TN, where he grew up an avid Volunteer fan. He spent his youth traversing the mountains of East Tennessee on his motorcycle where he became a competitive and successful motocross rider. He graduated from Clinton High School with a strong desire to fly. Dave attended the University of Tennessee and graduated in 1994 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He accepted a commission in the United States Air Force, shortly thereafter attending Undergraduate Pilot Training. After successful completion, he began his flying career as a C-130 pilot. Dave’s airmanship skills and aircrew demeanor were recognized early in his career. He gained the attention of Air Force Special Operations and soon joined the ranks of our nation’s elite. He spent the remainder of his career in Air Force Special Operations Command flying several light fixed-wing aircraft as an accomplished combat pilot, instructor pilot and Commander. Dave was recognized by those who served with him for his unwavering integrity, wisdom and leadership. Dave had a true heart for service. He continued to support the Special Operations community as a defense contractor applying his skills and experience solving challenging problems. Dave was also enrolled in the seminary seeking to becoming a pastor. He served as the Vice-President of the Mission City Church board where he was a mentor and teacher to many. His ultimate goal was to lead others to Christ. In his spare time, Dave could be found on the golf course or his wood shop crafting heirloom quality furniture. He served as a volunteer with Phantom Rescue, an organization dedicated to rescuing abducted children and returning them safely to their home. Dave valued relationships above else. He was blessed to marry his high school sweetheart, Monica, in 1994. They lived and loved life together until her passing. God blessed Dave again when he met ‘Tazz’ and they married in 2017. Tazz became the light of his life as the two of them walked with Christ. He cherished the time on the golf course with his father. Dave spent a great deal of time maintaining friendships with those he’d met and served with throughout his life. His two rescue dogs were often in tow. Dave will be sorely missed by all. He is survived by his parents Bernice and Gary Cox of Clinton, TN, uncle David Ray, uncle Jeffery, aunt Rosie, nephew Noah, brother Edward, God daughters Kaela V. & Kaela VF., and his adoring wife Tazz.

Donations in honor of Dave’s life can be made to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation at


Samuel David Cox

have a memory or condolence to add?

Frank H

October 24, 2020

I worked side-by-side with Dave at U.S. Special Operations Command. He was a great friend, trusted comrade, and highly respected member of the Special Operations community. Dave was already working in the section when I arrived. He welcomed me in, made me a part of the team, and selflessly took the time to coach and mentor me through accomplishing some very complex work. His positive outlook, high moral character, competency in his profession, and sense of humor made me look forward to coming to work every day. For those of you who know him, none of that should come as any surprise. I'm a better person for having known him and worked with him. God Bless you, Dave, and may the Lord bless the friends and loved ones you leave behind. I am proud to have been your friend and brother-in-arms.

Anne and Steve Ramer

October 23, 2020

Dave was a kind and gentle person who made a place better just by his presence and I will miss the joy of knowing he is present in our world. My husband and I met Dave And Monica in 1995 at pilot training. We became the best of friends. My husband was lucky enough to hang out with Dave and Tazz and see their love. Dave and my husband were often confused as brothers, I like to think not because they had similar big smiles but because they both had big hearts. They shared 25 years of friendship, moves, happy days, sad days, command, service, golf, dogs and love. Dave was Uncle to my three girls, encouraging them to embrace the goodness in life even if you could not see it right then. My husband walks a little heavier today, but we believe we will meet you on the bridge again. Rest in peace my friend, my brother until we meet again. Anne, Steve and the girls

Pablo Breuer

October 23, 2020

I was fortunate enough to meet Dave when he and Tazz started dating. I'll admit having been very skeptical of a man that wanted to date my sister. It did not take long for him to become a friend, confident, and brother. I'm not particularly blessed with eloquence, nor am I well versed religiously, but I found a passage from my past that's as close as I can find to describe Dave "...a man of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honor. ...the soul of tact, patience, justice, firmness, kindness, and charity."

I am fundamentally a better and happier man for having had Dave in my life. I miss you, brother. May you have fair winds, following seas, and a true star by which to navigate.


Tim Troup

October 23, 2020

I met Dave six years ago but only started working with him over the last two years in depth, oh what fun we’ve had!

Dave is a true man of character that we should all strive to be like. He took me deeper into my faith than I ever realized I could go and taught me so much in the short time we worked together. I will truly miss him as a dear friend.

Hannah Seaver

October 22, 2020

There doesn't seem to be adequate words or time to write about Dave (AKA: man). He was truly one of a kind. He lived a life led by honor, loyalty, integrity, strength, and above all: Christ's love. I cannot speak highly enough of him. He watched me grow up from the time I was born until now, 23 years later. I was blessed beyond measure to have him in my life.

"Man" encouraged me and saw what I couldn't see in myself. We always shared a unique bond that transcended time and space. I knew if I needed him for anything, anytime, he was there.

Ordinarily, I am never lost for words: usually they overflow. But Dave is unable to be defined. He cannot be refined down into words, because he was so much more. He had the essence of God flowing through his spirit, and anyone who knew him could see it.

I will forever carry his legacy and cherish the wisdom he gave me. I will always strive to be like you, Man.

Until the Lord calls me home,
Hannah ~

Cory Olson

October 22, 2020

I had the honor of meeting Dave in late 1999/early 2000 when we attended different training courses together as we began our journey in Air Force Special Operations Command. Dave's ability to make me laugh, provide words of encouragement, or provide perspective are the things that I remember so vividly. Throughout the years our paths crossed often and each time we saw each other it was just like we had seen each other yesterday. Dave's ability to connect with people on all levels was uncanny but his character is what I will remember the most. Dave was my friend, mentor, and leader and this world lost one of the great one's and to say he will be missed is an understatement but he was confident in eternity. Till we meet again my friend!

Tonashia Middleton

October 22, 2020

The first time I met Dave it was like meeting an old friend. He was always there with either an encouraging word or making me laugh. He treated me like family from the start. I am so grateful that he and Taz found each other. I will truly miss him.

Mike and Vessa Nardo

October 21, 2020

Surreal, defined as being unreal in the dictionary, keeps coming to my mind. Seeing the name of my friend and brother while coming to grips with using his name in a past tense is so hard that it is truly surreal. When I met Dave I had no idea that we would end up being so close. We went through many good times together, the Redneck party he and Monica put on at their house in New Mexico still makes me smile. By the time my first child was born Dave and I had become very close friends and he wanted to make a bedroom set for the new baby. Who does that? Who even has the skill to make something that 9 years later looks as pristine as it did when we finished the last layers of varnish in the garage over beers talking about the goings on in our squadrons? Dave did. As we finished our careers I’ll never forget his retirement party and subsequent trials as Monica fought Cancer. I’ll never forget talking to him as his pain and grief over her loss occupied his every day. I’ll also never forget as Dave found a way to move on in this world and while trying to see his way in the darkness of loss he met Tazz. Tazz made him so happy and suddenly there seemed to be light again and it was surreal! This year has been challenging to everyone and in the midst of the chaos there was Dave now helping us through rough times. He said to me very recently that I shouldn’t worry because God has us in his hands. Now Dave is in God’s hands. I could fill up pages with memories but I am thankful that in the end Dave was with Tazz, he was happy, and he is truly in Gods hands. We will miss you Dave and we are truly blessed to have had you in our lives.

Derek Heath

October 21, 2020

There are very few times in your life where you’ll meet someone that will change your vision in how you want to live and who you want to strive to be...Dave Cox was one of those chosen ones for me. A man’s man, an empathetic soul, a leader by example and someone who you would follow willingly into war whether that be temporal or spiritual. He lived the truth and exemplified a life of excellence in every way. His rock solid character and selfless nature motivated and inspired more people than he ever realized. I’m going to try my best to live up to the standard he has set. Thank you DC for everything you were...Christ shined through your spirit. You will be missed but not forgotten. It was an honor sharing the cockpit and life with you. You were an absolute gift. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Cor 4:18.
- Derek Heath

Beth Medeiros

October 21, 2020

Dave is one of those people that is irreplaceable in so many ways. He taught me many life lessons over the years just by watching how he handled his own life. No matter what curve ball was sent his way, he accepted the situation for what it was, made the best out of it and moved on. My favorite is how he just wanted to make things right; he had an internal strength that no one could suppress. Peace be with you Dave, you will be missed but we will meet again some day.

Beth Medeiros

Learn more about the Cox name