Shirley Mae Cox

(Jan. 3, 1926 - Feb. 19, 2024)


On Feb. 19, 2024, Shirley Mae Cox, 98,  passed away peacefully at the Powell Valley Care Center where she had been a resident for only one week. While so many of her relatives and precious good friends have passed before her, she leaves behind numerous family members, friends and acquaintances, all who admire what she brought to this world.

Shirley was born to Harold and Mae Williams on Jan. 3, 1926 in Powell in a house on the family homestead west of town. She and her sister Katherine enjoyed living in the country and contributing to the successful family farming operation that is still thriving there to this day. After graduating from high school, she went to college at the University of Wyoming where she met Jim Cox (who was in the army and doing specialized training in Laramie at that time). They eventually married and lived in Seattle, Washington, where they both finalized their college education. Jim fell in love with Wyoming and farming during his visits to Powell and they soon moved back to the area. He (along with partner Bill Fisher) began helping with the family farming operation, eventually becoming partners and taking over from Shirley’s father. 

Over the years, Shirley kept busy raising the family and keeping books for the farming operation. When it was possible to get away for a few hours or days, the two families enjoyed many camping and fishing trips during the warmer months. In the early years Shirley enjoyed gardening, canning, fair participation, church activities, 4-H leader, bridge club, community club and AAUW membership, including leadership positions. Into her 90s, her love of art never left her; she was still producing acrylic paintings on any size boards, driftwood or smooth rock available. Heart Mountain was one of her favorite images to reproduce and she was thrilled when she was able to share with friends and family, sell at garage sales or display somewhere.

Jim and Bill eventually had help from their sons and hired men, and Jim was able to have time to go south each winter. Shirley and Jim enjoyed 25 years at resorts in Tucson, Arizona, and were thrilled to keep busy with their “gang” of friends and all the park activities offered there. During this time they also traveled quite a bit, including cross-country train trips, cruises and trips overseas. Fond, detailed memories of these trips were Shirley’s secret to falling asleep so fast each night after Jim was gone. Besides enjoying her grandkids and family activities, Shirley’s last days were made so very special because of longtime friends (80 years!) like Juana Gras.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Jim and her parents.

Survivors include her sister Katherine Williams, son Bill (Noreen) Cox, daughter Janet Baumann, grandchildren: Norm (Jodi) Cox, Ryan (Vicki) Cox, Jason (Heather Laine) Cox, Kristin (Trent) Greenwald, Brett (Katherine) Baumann, Dan Baumann and great-grandchildren: Ethan (Ashley) Cox, Avery Cox, Isaiah Cox, Sheridan (Tyler) Davis, Aiden Greenwald, Kaylen Greenwald and Lillian Baumann.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at the Powell Union Presbyterian Church. Burial will take place at Crown Hill Cemetery.