Derek Cox, of Orlando, Florida

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Nov. 4, 1981 – Aug. 7, 2021

Derek A. Cox, 39, of Orlando, Florida, passed away on Aug. 7, 2021, following an illness.

He was born Nov. 4, 1981, in Deland, Florida to Karla De Long Mancini and Albert Brannon Cox of Key West FL. They lived in West Palm Beach until the family moved to Niles, Michigan, in 1995.  He graduated from Niles High School in 2000 and was a member of the Niles Varsity Boys Basketball team that went to the Michigan State Final Four in 2000.   Derek played basketball at Olivet College where he graduated with a degree in Fitness Management.

Derek loved his mother, cousin Shelli Knoll and family. He also loved and stayed in touch with his circle of longtime friends from high school and college.  Derek had many nicknames – Big Fella, Pappy, the gentle giant, Millennium Cox – surely a sign he was loved by many.

He also was known for helping anyone out. A kind and caring person and supportive friend.

He is survived by his mother Karla De Long Mancini, Cousin Shelli and family, his Great Aunt Arley Dunkin and his brothers in life: Rusty Baker, Blake Burgess, Gerrit Brigitha, Cody Cummins-Prentice, Travis Diamond, Josh Shane, Cassidy Dill, members of high school and college basketball teams and many friends in Orlando.

He was preceded in death by his father Albert Brannon Cox of Key West, Florida and his grandfather and grandmother, Ray and Eileen DeLong, of Niles, Michigan.

A celebration of life will take place at the Niles Elks Lodge, 1322 Canal St., Niles, on Nov. 6, 2021 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Niles Varsity Boys Basketball program.