Betty L. Cox



Betty L. Cox, 84, died on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, at her Phoenix, Ore. home. Born Betty Lou Mitchell, in Danville, Ill., she graduated from Danville High School and the local business school. In 1957, Betty moved to Ashland with her husband, Dale E. Cox, and their young family of five.

Betty loved music; from childhood, if possible, her home always had a piano. In the 1960s she played string bass with Southern Oregon's Little Symphony Orchestra and piano for Hope Rebekah Lodge at Ashland's IOOF hall on the plaza. In a historically informal time and place, Betty loved the requisite formal dress; her favorite was the full-skirted bright fuschia-pink gown that danced along with the music she played.

After spending years mastering the manual typewriter Betty acquired her first electric typewriter; with it she typed thousands of SOU student term paper pages through her home secretarial office for over twenty years. It was not unusual for a handwritten term paper dropped off at 5 a.m. to be ready, perfectly typewritten, in time for an 8 a.m. class. She particularly enjoyed supporting the academic efforts of international students for whom English was a second language.

After raising their family, Betty and Dale moved to Phoenix in 1989 where they bought and sold rare and used books together as Antiquarian Association members. During this time another technological rebirth occurred when Betty, at 62, completed a SOU Continuing Ed computer course purchased her first computer.

Between 1992 and her 2003 retirement, Betty served as Phoenix Chamber of Commerce founding secretary, city-wide yard sale organizer, and a Phoenix Historical Society founding member. Through community service, her grief at leaving her close-knit Illinois extended family thirty years before finally dissolved as new friendships formed.

The City of Phoenix honored Betty with their Community Service Achievement Award, reflecting her collaboration with the informal group who launched the local business community into the 21st century. She is a Senior Aces/Adult Computer Education Society lifetime member and belonged to the Medford Senior Center, Phoenix First Presbyterian Church and Brookside Village community.

Survivors include children, Julia Goforth, of Seattle, Wash.; David Cox, of White City, Ore.; and Kelly Cox, of San Jose, Calif.; grandchildren, US Army Forces Command Soldier of the Year, SSGT Jamiell Goforth, Baghdad, Iraq; Andrew Cox, of Burbank, Calif.; and Erin Cox, of San Jose, Calif.; great-grandsons, Tyler and AJ Andrew Cox; sister, Jean Duke, of Carmel, Ind.; and son-in-law, Rodney Kreps, of Seattle, Wash.; and daughter-in-law Kathie Cox, of San Jose, Calif. Her husband, Dale, preceded her in death in 1991.

Thursday, Mar. 5, 2009, celebrations include a graveside service at 2:30 p.m., at Hillcrest Park, 2201 N. Phoenix Rd., Medford; reception is 4-6:00 p.m., Brookside Apts. Recreation Hall, 935 N. Rose, Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to Southern Oregon University ENDOWMENT FUND, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520.