Coz, Richard T.Died
Jesuit Father Richard T. Coz, 86, died December 31, 2010 in Regis Infirmary at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, Calif., after a long illness. He was a Jesuit for 63 years, an ordained priest for 52.
Born in Fresno, California, on August 24, 1924, Fr. Coz entered the Society of Jesus at Sacred Heart Novitiate in Los Gatos on August 14, 1947. He pronounced final vows on March 25, 1977, at Santa Clara University.
Fr. Coz attended St. Joseph’s High School in Alameda, Calif., graduating in 1942. He then worked in defense plants in Oakland and Los Angeles before joining the Navy. After his discharge in 1946, he attended the University of San Francisco for a year and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Los Gatos on August 14, 1947.
Following studies at Los Gatos and Spokane, Fr. Coz was assigned to Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, where he taught Latin and English. He recalled, “That year at Bellarmine [1954-55] was one of the happiest years of my life. I still have former students as friends.” Theology studies were made at Alma College, Los Gatos, and he was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1958.
Upon completion of his priestly training, Fr. Coz pursued doctoral studies in economics at the University of North Carolina. In 1963 he began a 32 year association with Santa Clara University as professor of economics and director of the Studies Abroad program (1970-92) based in Durham, England. He was a very popular teacher (he was named Business School Teacher of the Year, 1990), a counselor, a rugby and soccer enthusiast, a photographer, a friend and mentor, and the priest who officiated at hundreds of marriages and baptisms. In 2007 alumni established a scholarship fund in his honor. The “Pause for Coz” was wildly successful, an indication of the love and esteem in which he was held.
After retiring from university work in 1995, Fr. Coz returned to the high school classroom. He taught religion and business ethics at Brophy College Prep, Phoenix (1995-98), followed by a nine year association with De La Salle High School in Concord, where he taught religion and served as campus minister to both the school and the Brothers’ communities. “Our boys have a fond appreciation for Fr. Coz’s presence and ministry,” wrote an administrator, “He is truly a cornerstone of our Kairos retreat programAs an instructor, we are thankful for all he does every day and would be much poorer without his presence.”
Following a stroke in 2007, he came to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, where he kept in contact with former students and faculty colleagues through correspondence and a steady stream of visitors.