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Michael P.M. Coxe, retired Bell Atlantic official, dies

Michael P.M. Coxe served as an officer with the Seabees as a civil engineer.
Michael P.M. Coxe served as an officer with the Seabees as a civil engineer. (Family photo / HANDOUT)

Michael P.M. Coxe, a retired Bell Atlantic official who worked for predecessor company Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co., died May 25 of complications from dementia at the Gilchrist Center in Columbia. He was 82.

Michael Paul Morgan Coxe, son of Rear Adm. Lewis C. Coxe and his wife, Nancy Lesh Coxe, a homemaker, was born in Washington, and because his father was a career officer, they lived at various Navy installations both in the United States and abroad.

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With the start of World War II, Mr. Coxe and his mother were evacuated from Panama and returned to Washington. They later lived in Guam. Returning to Annapolis, they lived on the grounds of the Naval Academy and he attended the Severn School.

Mr. Coxe was 16 when he entered the Johns Hopkins University, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1959 as an honors graduate in civil engineering. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi.

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He began working for the old C&P Telephone Co. in 1959 in the accounting department and after several supervisory promotions, left in 1961 to serve as an officer with the Seabees as a civil engineer. After being discharged from the Navy in 1964, he remained an active reservist.

Mr. Coxe returned to C&P, working as a staff accountant until he became responsible for all accounting activities in the company’s customer records and billing department for C&P operations in Maryland.

In 1973, he was named general staff supervisor and was responsible for personnel, results and budgets for the four C&P companies. Three years later, he became the company’s general internal auditor and directed audit and security activities for the four C&P companies.

Mr. Coxe became division manager in 1984 for regulatory matters at C&P, reporting directly to the president of the company. His position at the time of his retirement in 1992 was executive of information systems for successor company Bell Atlantic.

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In retirement, the Columbia resident took classes and became a master gardener. He also enjoyed traveling and visiting such favorite destinations as Newport, Rhode Island, where he had been stationed during his Navy days; Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; and Scottsdale and Tucson, Arizona.

He and his companion of 47 years, Claire Albert, a retired Bell Atlantic manager, liked spending time at Bethany Beach, Delaware, where she maintained a second home.

Mr. Coxe attended St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Columbia.

Because of the pandemic, plans for a memorial service are incomplete.

In addition to Ms. Albert, he is survived by two sons, Michael P.M. Coxe Jr., of Phoenix, Baltimore County, and Stephen L.C. Coxe of Norfolk, Virginia; and a granddaughter. An earlier marriage to Elizabeth Wright ended in divorce.

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