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Cleo Gertrude (Irwin) CoxDecember 29, 1920 ~ October 27, 2017 (age 96)
Cleo G. Cox, a former resident of Okemah passed away Friday, October 27th, 2017 in Oklahoma City at the age of 96. Cleo was born in La Veta, Colorado, December 29th of 1920 to Vernon Ralph Irwin and Lydia Mae (Heikes) Irwin. After losing a mother at the age of 5, her father brought Cleo and her two older brothers to Kansas to live with her Grandma for a while. After her father remarried when she was age six, they moved to Okemah. Cleo said that her stepmother was absolutely wonderful.
While growing up, one of Cleo's favorite pastimes was reading. Like most children, Cleo enjoyed playing outside with her friends. She said some of her fondest memories were getting to go to both sides of grandparents homes because they lived on farms. She tells of food being kept down in the well, making sausage, canning meat and playing in the barn or out in the pool.
Cleo married Aaron David when she was almost 18. They had two boys together, Larry & Gary. Aaron was a tail gunner of a B-17 during World War II. His plane was shot down, leaving Cleo as a young widow. She and the two boys lived with her in-laws for seven years.
Cleo then married John Cox, and they had two sons together, Ronald & Darrell. She and John had a farm between Henryetta and Weleetka. Cleo said living on the farm kept her busy, like taking out a bunch of chickens at once to put in the freezer, skinning calves, gardening, and taking care of the cows. She said it was a good life. They really enjoyed going to church together. One of her favorite sayings was: "To love one another for love is from God." Many of the old hymns touched her heart.
Besides working on a farm, Cleo was a member of the Home Economics Club. She enjoyed sewing, especially for others. She has made several wedding dresses and square dancing costumes "with all those ruffles." She made John a suit that won first place in the Okmulgee Fair and the Tulsa State Fair. He loved that suit and wore it for years. She also made a green satin shirt for Rodeo Champion Jim Shoulders.
Cleo and John were married almost 50 years before he passed. Unfortunately, Cleo had to sell the farm. She moved to Okemah to be near family.
Cleo was a longtime member of the Henryetta Church of Christ and later the Okemah Church of Christ. She was also a member of the Eastern Star.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her stepmother, her first husband, Aaron David, second husband John Cox, two sons, Larry David & wife Sandra, and Gary David & wife Catherine.
She is survived by two sons, Ronnie Cox & wife Mary of Collinsville;
Darrell Cox of Okemah; a former daughter in law, Debby Sutton of Edmond;
Ten grandchildren, Johnalyn Whaley & husband John, Cynthia Davies & husband Lance, Aaron David, Larry David, Eric David & wife Beth, Jeff David & wife Stephanie, Alisa Menke & husband Steve, Kimberly Cox, Robin Ross & husband Joe, Becky Lee & husband Josh.
Also by nineteen great grandchildren & eight great-great grandchildren.
Viewing for Mrs. Cox will be from 3-8pm Thursday, November 2, 2017 at Integrity Funeral Service.
Pallbearers will be, Jeff David, Steve Menke, Josh Lee, Aaron David, Larry David, & Aaron David. Honorary pallbearers will be additional grandchildren & great grandchildren.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11:00 a.m., Friday, November 3, 2017 at Integrity Chapel with Rex Walcher officiating. Interment will follow in Westlawn Cemetery under direction of Integrity Funeral Service.