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Joyce Marlene Freed Cox, 75, of Stillwater, died on Wednesday January 28, in Stillwater. Memorial Service will be held at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Stillwater on Wednesday February 4, at 1:30 p.m.
Joyce was born November 4, 1939 in the small farming community of Fairbury, Illinois. She was welcomed into this world by her father, Darwin Freed and mother, Viola Pfeffinger Freed and two teenaged brothers, William and Howard, (Bud).
Her education began in a one-room country school called Brights Corner. It continued in Fairbury schools. After graduation, she received a Normal School teaching scholarship to Southern Illinois University. Her parents made many sacrifices so she could attend. Upon her arrival, an announcement for auditions for an all freshman cast for a children's show caught her eye. She was cast in Flibberty Gibbet. That "masterpiece" launched her life-long love affair with theatre. She graduated in 1961 with a BS in Speech Communication and Theatre.
For four years, she taught English, Speech, and Drama at DeSoto High School, DeSoto, Missouri, where she met a fellow Thespian, Kenneth Cox, whom she married in 1966. Other teaching positions were at Mercy High School, a Catholic school in St. Louis, Lincoln High, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Perkins Tryon High, Perkins, Oklahoma.
Daughter Amy Elizabeth was born in Nebraska in 1970 shortly before the move to Oklahoma. Four years later, Dinah Marie joined the family. During this time, Joyce earned a Master's degree in theatre from Oklahoma State University. In 1979, she began working in the Arts and Sciences Deans' Office at Oklahoma State University where she enjoyed working until her retirement in 2005.
Throughout her life, she very much enjoyed her students, co-workers and her volunteer work at Town and Gown Theatre in Stillwater, where she acted, directed, worked box office, and served as President of the Board. She also was a member of The League of Women Voters, Friends of the Library, several book clubs and enjoyed playing bridge.
Her mother, father, brothers, two sisters-in-law, and her husband's parents all preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband Ken, daughters Amy Cox and husband Chuck Vanek and Chuck’s daughter, Aliza, of Minneapolis and Dinah Cox and her partner Lisa Lewis of Stillwater. She also is survived by ten nieces and nephews and sisters-in-laws, Delma Freed and Linda Mallory Price.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 516 W. Third, Stillwater, OK 74074, OSU Theatre, c/o the OSU Foundation P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076 or Town and Gown Theatre P.O. Box 934, Stillwater, OK 74076.
Condolences may be sent and obituary viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com.
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