A Tribute to My Mother

This is a talk I gave at Mothers Funeral January 2006.

“On January 17, 2006, Edwin Charles Cox came to the Orchard Park Care Center to conduct his sweet loving wife of 65 earthly year’s home to her Heavenly Father and to be greeted by her Mother and Father, Brothers, Sisters and many other friends and relatives.

Mother was born April 17, 1918 the 6th of 9 children born to Ettie Mae and Nels Sorensen.

The family moved from time to time as her Father found work. Eventually they settled in Pocatello, Idaho when her Father found steady work with the railroad.

Mother had many friends and several of them remained friends all her life. I always thought we were related to these ladies because we always visited them every time we went to Pocatello to Grandma Sorensen, Uncle Richard and Aunt Vera’s Families. In her later years these friends would still get togther and have a friend’s weekend. Mother told me they would laugh and talk just as they did when they were girls.

The story of how Mother met Dad has become a Cox Family Legend.

Mother was visiting her sister Viola Terry in Cedar City. Viola’s Husband knew that Dad was due home from his Mission and suggested that they drive to his home to see if he had returned. As they drove up to the house there was Dad, his back turned and his head in the trunk. All that Mom could see were his long legs. She thought to herself that this is one fine man. Dad called her up the next day and invited her to a dance. He persuaded her to delay her return to Pocatello a few more days. He took her fishin and on picnics and won her heart.

She said there was a letter waiting for her when she got back to Pocatello. They corresponded by letter for a few weeks then Dad arranged to meet her in Salt Lake City for the weekend of the LDS October General Conference. She told me of that weekend that she had never laughed so much. He proposed and they were married at her Mothers home in Pocatello, Idaho, October 30, 1941. Then they drove back to Cedar City with Dad’s sister Inez and because it was Pheasant season a shotgun at the ready. Then on November 5, 1941 they were sealed for time and all eternity in the St. George Temple.

They settled in Cedar City and began the business of life together. Sandra soon came to join the family the following year July 30th, 1942 and then Kathryn came along August 31st, 1943. At this time Dad was working for the Southern Utah Power Company. Then he was called into the Army Air Corpse and Mother moved back to Pocatello to be with her Mother because she was expecting another baby. Dad was stationed in Denver when Douglas was born July 24, 1944. Mother moved back to Cedar City when Dad was stationed at Neils Air Force Base near Las Vegas. The war ended and Dad was released from the Army. Soon I came along March 29th, 1946. Then Richard joined our happy family to make us complete August 4th, 1949.

Mother was a fastidious homemaker, an excellent cook and baker. We would wake in the morning to her singing in the kitchen as she prepared breakfast. We often woke to the smell of newly baked bread. The sink would sometimes be full of trout that Dad had caught that morning before he went to work. We then knew we would have trout that evening perfectly boned and cooked to perfection under the broiler. She could take a few ingredients and make a wonderful meal.

Mother was a talented and creative seamstress. She taught each of her girls to cook and sew. She made dresses for our birthdays, Christmas, Easter and for each new school year. We had to wear dresses to school, no jeans of pants. She sewed a whole wardrobe for a doll I was given for Christmas one year. She was not very happy with me when instead of dressing the doll I dressed the family cat.

Mother was adventurous and willing to take charge and have some fun. She would load us kids in the car and off we would go to Zion, Bryce or Cedar Breaks for a day of hiking and picnics. She took Sandra, Kathryn, me and our Cousin Lyona to Pocatello one summer to visit Grandma Sorensen. We stopped at Lagoon and had  wonderful time even though we had to be rescued from the fun house rolling tunnel. I still have a picture in my mind of Mother hugging her dress around her legs as a burst of air shot up from below.

Kathryn remembers another time Mother loaded us all into the car along with some invited friends to go on a picnic to Navajo Lake. Bening there with Mother, the beautiful food and fun friends made a wonderful day. Dad wasn’t there to lead us in hiking of water games, just Mom, and it was so much fun.

We all remember snuggling up to her as she read bedtime stories or poems from “101 Famous Poems”. “Which one would you like to hear?” “The Spider and the Fly”, or “Little Boy Blue” or perhaps “Out to Old Aunt Mary’s”. We each had our favorites, she would read until her tongue was thick and then she would say “OK that’s enough, time for bed.” We all knew we were loved.

There were a few notable mishaps or missteps however. Mother found a cake recipe that she continued to make even though it had not received a good reception the first time. It was a Caraway Seed Cake, not too bad a long as you didn’t bite into one of those seeds. The problem of course was there were lots of seeds. Another time she had baked and decorated cupcakes complete with a candle in each one for one of our birthday parties. She put them in the oven to get them out of the way. She forgot they were there and you guessed it, she turned on the oven and the candles melted and the decorations were ruined. But not to worry Dad just picked off the melted wax and ate them anyway.

As her family grew she nourished, taught and loved each one. She found much joy in her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. Kathryn recalls how her young children would squeal with delight when Grandma would come. Mother would get right down on the floor with them cross her eyes and growl like a bear and chase them around the room. They loved it.

She helped Dad in his various callings in the Church and activities in the community. Including being active in the Lady Lions, she served as President of the PTA and President of the Young Women in the MIA. Mom and Dad were active in the Sons of the Utah Pioneers and Mother was a counselor in Relief Society and taught the Spiritual Living Lesson for several years.

Mom and Dad spent many years as ordinance workers in the St. George Temple. At that time the sessions were still live and they learned all the parts. I had the special privilege to attend many sessions as my parents and Uncle Reid and Aunt Wanda took part.

When Dad retired from the Power Company they served three missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They were called to the Los Angeles Temple visitor’s center, then the Hawaiian Temple visitor’s center, and finally Nauvoo. They loved to travel, exploring new places and enjoying the wonders of this great land. They made many trips around the United States, Canada, Alaska and even into Mexico. They instilled in each of us a love for our Country and the beauties of this wonderful world. They loved making new friends and sharing many of these experiences with  Andrea’s parents and the many friends they made during their missions and other associations. Everywhere they went they made friends that remained friends for life.

Mother loved the Gospel and was constantly studying and reading the scriptures. [I was given Mother's set of scriptures. As I have used them in Sunday School I continue to find little notes on scraps of paper in her handwriting. Most are just brief notes and don't make a lot of sense. But they are like little treasures.]

Mother we love you and we will miss you. We are so grateful for your influence and the examples you set for us. We know you are happy and at peace back in the loving arms of your Eternal Companion.

Amen”