HOBART, IL — John N. Cox, of Hobart, Illinois, passed away January 26, 2022. Cox was a veteran of the coatings industry, with over 40 years of experience in the development of coatings. 

Cox began his career at Guardsman Chemical in Louisville, Kentucky. He also worked for Reliance Universal, Pratt & Lambert and Southern Coatings in Sumter, South Carolina. When Sherwin-Williams took over Southern Coatings, Cox moved to Chicago, and he worked the remainder of his professional career at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago. Cox studied at the University of Louisville, where he received his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1973. He later received a master's degree and a Ph.D in organic chemistry from the university.

Cox’s experience in the coatings industry included  wood lacquers, stains, metal coatings, plastic coatings for television, laser-etch coatings for the automotive industry, and waterborne and solvenborne coatings for the military group at Sherwin-Williams. When he was at Pratt & Lambert, he worked on solvent- and water-based plastic coatings, CARC systems using zinc-rich primer 2K epoxy, moisture cure products, 1k and solvent high-heat products, and a new water-based 2K CARC system.

Cox was committed to bringing young scientists into the profession, and taught courses in coatings and resin at Purdue Northwest in Hammond, Indiana. To help satisfy the growing demand for young people to enter the field, the Chicago Society for Coatings Technology established the Dr. John Cox Chicago Society for Coatings Technology scholarship. Cox was instrumental in helping students find jobs in the industry and was an advocate for furthering coatings education. 

Cox was an integral part of the Chicago Society for Coatings Technology (CSCT). He served as the society’s President in 2005 and volunteered his time and industry knowledge for many years. According to the CSCT, he was instrumental in promoting, conducting and expanding the annual CTT/Symco symposium. In 2017, he was recognized as a 25-year member of CSCT. 

Among the industry professionals Cox influenced during his years with CSCT is the 2022 President of the society, Kelsey Waughon. CSCT reports that Waughon was introduced to the coatings industry when she attended the CSCT/CPCA’s Windy City Coatings Course in 2015. After she attended Coatings 101, which was taught by Cox, he sought her out and gave her supplemental materials from one of his graduate courses. CSCT reports that, "the information he provided became the building blocks for Waughon’s career as a coatings chemist."

Members of CSCT's current board describe Cox "as the most passionate advocate of CSCT." The society reports that he "was a catalyst in encouraging his colleagues, competitors, and suppliers to be active and participate in the society. One member states that in his 35 years with the society, he never met someone as generous with his time in promoting CSCT’s cause as John was." 

Cox leaves behind his fiancé, Jill Kirk, two children, Diana Fletcher and Stacy Goldsmith, two grandsons, and four great grandsons.