Life Story / Obituary
Janice Cox, 79, died peacefully at her home in Holland surrounded by her loving children. Jan was a vibrant and generous woman with a playful wit, and she enjoyed her family and friends new and old and the full life they shared.
Janice Ann Pittman was born June 11, 1936 in Kenly, North Carolina to Mary Louise Radford and Jasper Pittman. Her mother died when she was 12 and her large family of aunts and uncles served as important sources of love and encouragement.
She moved to Norfolk, Virginia shortly after graduating from high school and there she met William “Bud” N. Cox, Jr. Theirs was a whirlwind romance: he asked her to marry him on their second date. On the third date, she said yes and they married six months later, in 1958.
Bud’s career as a human resources and labor relations manager often entailed moving to hire personnel for companies, and each of their four children was born in a different city (Norfolk, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Wabash, Indiana; and South Boston, Virginia). Happily, Jan loved meeting new people, learning their stories, and becoming friends, and she quickly immersed herself into the life of each new community. The family settled in Holland in 1971. They joined Fellowship Church and were members for many years. Jan and Bud were also active in the Holland Newcomers Club, where they made many lifelong friends.
In 1973, Jan began her banking career at First Michigan Bank (now Huntington Bank) as a part-time teller at the West Ottawa office. She spent years in the consumer loan department. Jan was a bank officer and branch manager of the Waukazoo office, holding that position for five years. She served as a local and state executive board member of Financial Women International. Jan retired from Huntington Bank in 1998 after 25 years of service.
Jan was an enthusiastic volunteer and enjoyed working to make life a better, more beautiful place for present and future generations. She joined the Holland Garden Club in 1978 and was a very active volunteer. Jan served on the executive board numerous times as well as chaired many committees in her 38 years of service. One project close to her heart was coordinating Garden Therapy at local schools and for Evergreen Commons Adult Day Health participants. Recently, she had great joy in helping to create the new children’s garden at Windmill Island.
Jan also served as a volunteer at Evergreen Commons Senior Center, then joined the staff part-time as Volunteer Coordinator for Adult Day Health in 2002. She took great pleasure in finding and working with new volunteers in the Holland community. She retired a second time in 2009.
Jan loved to read and instilled that same love in her children at an early age with weekly visits to Herrick Library. She helped form her beloved Blue Stockings Book Club in 2001. This group of women became such dear friends to Jan, sharing lively conversations about books and their lives for 15 years, right up until her death. Jan recommended dark and powerful stories of human misdeeds and sorrow, in strong contrast to her warm and welcoming personality.
Jan’s sense of humor, thoughtful nature, and joy in life’s daily pleasures made her the best companion you could hope for on life’s journey and will be sorely missed by her children, family and friends.
Preceding her in death was her husband Bud Cox in 1996 and her parents. Surviving are her children, Captain William N. Cox III, United States Navy (Retired) of Holland; Mary Elizabeth (Matthew) Fedorchuk of Okemos, MI; Catherine Wendell Cox (Fareed Al-Oboudi) of Los Angeles; Martha Elaine Cox of Chicago; grandchildren Emma and Julian Fedorchuk; sister Ruby (Bill) Rains of Goldsboro, NC; brother Jay (Laura) Pittman of Chesapeake, VA; sister Myra Yeatts of Sumpter, SC; sister-in-law Lois Cox of Morehead City, N.C.; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family will welcome friends Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Dykstra Funeral Home - Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue in Holland. Visitation will also take place Friday, February 12, at 2:00 pm, followed by a memorial service at 3:00 pm at Dykstra’s Northwood Chapel. Memorial contributions may be given to Hospice of Holland.