Grafton – Henry Walter Coz passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. Henry was predeceased by his wife, Mary; his brothers, Alfred and Edward; and his sister, Alice.
He was born March 5, 1927 in Brockton to the late Alice (Boyd) and Leonard G. Coz. He graduated from Brockton High in 1945. In high school, he was a prominent football player. After high school graduation, he entered the Army, and served in Berlin, Germany. He attained the rank of sergeant. He was in the Honor Guard, where he and his men maintained safety for such notables as Cornelius Ryan, the author of “The Longest Day.”
After honorable discharge from the Army, Henry graduated from Tufts University in 1951 with a degree in Business. At Tufts, he won the Tower Cross Award for outstanding academic and athletic achievement. He was then recruited by the New York Giants. He turned down the Giants because “it didn’t pay enough.” He went to work at Reed Plastics with his brother, Alfred. Henry and Alfred then founded Coz Chemical Company in Northbridge. He and his brother compounded and colored plastics, and the company became an industry leader and a large employer. He also bought a small company in the same building that is now called Polyfoam Corporation.
Henry married his college sweetheart and love of his life, Mary Duffy, April 15, 1953, and the couple raised their seven children in Grafton. Henry and Mary together, through hard work and grit, built a beautiful life for which the family will be eternally grateful.
Henry was a Kentucky Colonel, an honor bestowed on a person for their public service, and advancement of the state of Kentucky. A private pilot, he enjoyed flying to and fro for business meetings and recreational activities. He reminisced often about his flying days, “bouncing off the clouds” and sometimes straying off course while enjoying the sheer joy and solitude of being in the skies.
He never truly retired from business, providing guidance to and collaborating with his sons in their business ventures.
Henry traveled extensively with his wife Mary, braving weather, political unrest and inhospitable conditions in their search to see and experience the beauty, people, and places that exist in our wonderful world. On their travels, Henry and Mary met many fascinating people and made great friends. Their stories and pictures fostered a love of travel for the whole family. Henry often said that Mary “dragged” him around the world and if not for her, he would have missed so much.
He was a great friend and mentor not only to his children, but to people in the community and to people he worked with. He and his companies helped employees learn to read and write, sponsored Little League teams, and maintained a “swimming hole” and skating rink for the kids of Northbridge. He was involved in many other philanthropic activities, including his church, St. Phillip’s, and wounded veterans’ organizations.
He leaves behind his seven children, daughters Patricia, and her daughter Alecsandra; Mary, and Carolyn; sons Henry, and his son Nathaniel; Stephen and his wife Valerie and their three children, Kathryn, Joseph, and Emma; Thomas, his wife Linda and their two daughters, Mariah and Adelle; John and his wife Diane and their sons Jacob and Lee, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held Thursday, Aug. 13, from 4-7 p.m., at Roney Funeral Home, 152 Worcester St., North Grafton. The funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday morning, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m., at St. Philip’s Church on West Street in Grafton Center. Burial will be private at his family’s convenience.
The family requests that memorial donations may be made to Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides housing near hospitals to families of wounded veterans, while they undergo treatment and rehabilitation, by mail at PO Box 230, South Walpole, MA 02071 or online at www.FisherHouseBoston.org.
Please visit an online guestbook to share a memory of Henry or message of sympathy with his family at www.RoneyFuneralHome.com.