Kenny Cox

AUGUSTA – Though we all hoped otherwise, Kenny Cox had to go sometime; it happened suddenly in his Augusta home on the evening of August 4, 2020. He was 71.

He is survived by his life partner, Wanda Ingham; his daughters, Amy Clearwater and her wife, Alexa Plotkin and Emily Henley and her husband, Thomas Henley; and their mother, Liza Cox; as well as his sisters, Shirley Cox Foster, Carole Cox Sanders and her husband Michael Sanders, and his brothers, Linwood Cox and Clifford Cox.

Born in Augusta, Kenny grew up in North Monmouth and by the time he was a teenager, he was out playing music and golf. He never reformed. He attended college for a minute in Boston, but playing at coffee houses at night was a lot more fun than school. So, he came back to Maine and played. The Hole in the Wall Gang, the Band from Uncle, Neat and Clean? he traveled all over. He could sing anything, even a phone number. He is probably best remembered for his weekly gigs at Sugarloaf, which spanned at least 35 winters, and his Sunday afternoon “Kenny Church” at the Wharf in Hallowell. He shared his talent and wisdom with many of the area’s favorite musicians, as well as his children.

He really did hate amateur harmonica players, rudeness, and injustice. He loved pie, and the Red Sox, and his family, but especially Wanda. As his health declined over the last decade or so, she was his guardian angel and reason to get out of bed. Once his mobility declined, his music was charitably enabled by the friends and colleagues who drove with him to gigs, set up his gear, and then packed it back into the car when he was finished. Dickie Dow probably set up his P.A. more often than he did, and we are all eternally grateful.

Those of you who loved him and were entertained for decades should know that he loved you too. Enraptured toddlers were his favorite, closely followed by those who requested the songs that he had played at their weddings. Making you smile was his favorite activity and he missed it during this pandemic. Rest assured that he was rehearsing for the time when he could see you all at your favorite haunts and entertain you again.

When the time is right, there will be a celebration befitting this lost king of good times. Until then, please be kind to one another; he couldn’t stand meanness. Choose a Kenny quality that you will miss, and embody it in the world. Hum a few bars of Goodnight Irene and tell someone that you wrote it.

Our family is collecting funds to support young people in their quest to become working musicians. If you’d like to be kept informed about the celebration to come, please send an email to [email protected] and we’ll make sure you get the details. Take good care of each other and we’ll see you soon.

Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, One Church St, Augusta where condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the GoFundMe at (it is case sensitive).

Kenny Cox

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