Saturday, August 11, 2012

Remembering the one and only Ted Cox!

Last Sunday Mount Rainier National Park and the Rainier Climbing Community lost yet another long time friend. The following is from our Chief Ranger Chuck Young and former climbing ranger Mike Gauthier. Thanks Guys. A memorial service honoring the life of Ted will be held this coming Thursday, August 16th around 6 pm at the Community Building in Longmire, WA. Everyone is invited to come and help us celebrate the life of our friend. It is a potluck so along with stories bring some food and beverages to share. If you would like more details about the location or event please email us, we will try to be timely in our response.

We are saddened to report that MORA Protection Division employee Ted Cox 
has passed away from complications related to an aggressive form of 
cancer. Ted, 70, passed away this Sunday in the company of dear friends 
and loved ones; he had worked for the past 10 years as a seasonal Trails 
Laborer at Camp Muir. 

Ted’s career at Mount Rainier was defined by meticulously taking care of 
the waste and water systems for Camp Muir, arguably one of the world’s 
most difficult utility systems to maintain.  He did so with pride, 
dedication, and joy, which earned him the unofficial and affectionate 
title of "Mayor of Camp Muir."  By doing his duties so well and with 
such disarming charm, the climbing rangers were better able to focus on 
the pressing needs of public safety and resource protection. Each week 
in the late spring and summer, Ted began his work shift by hiking to the 
10,000 foot high camp where we would reside for four days. Each trip, he 
would pack and haul heavy loads of supplies and materials; often he 
performed arduous and physically demanding tasks at high altitude which 
is always an impressive feat. This is something that Ted did with 
gleeful pride up until his diagnosis this June. 

With a playful and light-hearted grin, Ted often said that maintaining 
the critical waste system at Camp Muir was his “life’s work.” He was 
serious about that too, as he loved the mountain community and the 
unique personalities that he would meet day to day.  Ted did more than 
just maintain a utility system, however; he also cared for the staff as 
a non-judgmental friend and confidant, and always kept the peace amongst 
a dynamic crew of with equally dynamic personalities and situations. Ted 
was the person that rangers and guides could rely upon to help maintain 
cohesiveness and peace within the sometimes intense and stressful 
situations that can exist at 10,000 feet.  Before Mount Rainier, Ted 
worked at Olympic National Park in the maintenance division, and in the 
off-season, lived in Sequim, WA and in Talkeetna, Alaska.    He will be 
sorely missed by the guides, rangers, his friends, and the public who 
had the good fortune to meet Ted at Camp Muir or while hiking up or down 
from Paradise.