Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NV: Matthew T. Cox, ex-Hopkins Public Schools teacher, found murdered in Nevada

by Dave Person | Kalamazoo Gazette
Tuesday December 30, 2008, 11:00 AM

HOPKINS -- The funeral for a former Hopkins Public Schools choir director who police say was killed in his Nevada home will be held Saturday in Michigan.

Matthew T. Cox, 32, of Henderson, Nev., was found dead in his home Dec. 22, authorities said. Two brothers, ages 17 and 18, one of whom reportedly was a student of Cox's, were arrested on charges of murder, burglary and robbery, the Las Vegas Sun newspaper reported.

Cox, a Western Michigan University graduate, was choir director for about five years in Hopkins Public Schools before leaving in 2006 to teach in Nevada.

"He was a very good teacher," Hopkins Assistant Superintendent Robert Hennip said. "He made kids toe the line. He expected a lot from them and they responded very well to that."

Hennip described Cox, who initiated specialized choirs and musical productions in Hopkins, as "a friendly guy who wanted to see people excel."

"He worked very hard; he wanted to be successful, he wanted the kids to be successful and his program the same way," the assistant superintendent said.

Cox had last been seen the night of Dec. 21, when he had dinner with a friend, the Sun reported. His body was discovered the following afternoon by another friend who went to his house to take care of his pets and later told police that Cox was supposed to be in Michigan for Christmas, according to the Las Vegas newspaper.

One of the two brothers charged in connection with Cox's death was a choir student at Basic High School, where Cox taught, according to the Sun.

Cox was born Dec. 30, 1975, in Toledo, Ohio, and was a 1994 graduate of Bedford High School in Temperance. He was active in choir, plays and musicals in high school and won the Michigan Solo Performer award two years in a row. He then came to Kalamazoo, where he received his bachelor's degree from WMU.

Surviving are his parents, Debra and Timothy Armstrong, and sister, Kristin Cox, all of Lambertville; and grandparents, Robert and Margaret Graham and Alice and Walter Armstrong, all of Toledo. 

Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and funeral services at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Michael W. Pawlak Funeral Home, 1640 Smith Rd., Temperance, in Monroe County in the southeastern corner of Michigan.

The Las Vegas Sun contributed to this report.

Contact Dave Person at or 388-8555.

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