The Rev. Cecil Maddox, 89, of South Fulton died Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, at Tennessee State Veteran’s Home in Humboldt.
Visitation will be held from noon until 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Fulton City High School. Interment will follow in Obion County Memorial Gardens. A private funeral service will be held.
The Rev. Cecil Maddox Jr. was born on March 6, 1931, to Cecil Maddox Sr. and Thelma Chambers. He was educated in the Obion County School System and graduated in 1949. He furthered his education by receiving a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University in 1959 and a master’s degree from Murray State University in 1966.
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1951-1955, during the Korean War. He holds distinguished military medals for his service. The China Service Medal, Korean Service Medal (Five Stars), United Nations Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.
On March 16, 1955, he married Martha Norman Bright in Yuma, Ariz. Six children were born of this union. The Rev. Maddox began his teaching career at Milton Elementary School in Fulton in 1962.
In 1965 he helped to integrate the Kentucky school system by becoming the first African American male teacher and principal at Carr Elementary School. He worked in the Fulton Independent School District for over 28 years, throughout his teaching career he also coached football and basketball until he retired in 1990. For his dedication to the Fulton Independent School District, a Junior High addition was named in his honor on Aug. 16, 2001.
The Rev. Maddox was a devout Christian. He was called to minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1970, where he served for more than 30 years and presided over churches including Mt. Herman and Mt. Olive, both in Millington, and Salter Chapel in Dyersburg.
The Rev. Maddox attended Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in South Fulton from 2015 until the time of his death. The Rev. Marvin Mercer often referred to him as his Father in the Ministry. When the Rev. Mercer came to South Fulton, the Rev. Maddox and the late William T. Atkins introduced him to the community.
The Rev. Maddox was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Martha; daughters, Tonya and Monica; three sisters; and one brother.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his sons, Cecil Maddox III of Kansas City, Mo., Maurice Maddox and Ben (Latoya) Maddox of Dallas; daughter, Ima Dickerson (Albert Clark) of Kansas City; his brother, Ardell Maddox (Mary); his sister, Shirley Beasley of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; his grandchildren, Turane, Eric, Shaneka, Antonio, Christal, Latrease and Kimora; 14 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives.
The Rev. Cecil Maddox Jr. was certainly one that inspired others to go beyond the norm. He was tenacious, brilliant and operated with a spirit of excellence and class. He touched countless lives in his hometown of South Fulton and far beyond.
His ability to touch lives was seen as a father in his home, a pastor delivering a sermon, a teacher in the classroom and a coach on the court or field. His sense of humor and quick wit attracted many to him.
Rawls Funeral Home in South Fulton is in charge of arrangements.
Family and friends may leave condolences at www.rawlsfuneralhomes.com.