Cover photo for Joan Cox's Obituary
Joan Cox Profile Photo
1929 Joan 2020

Joan Cox

March 29, 1929 — September 7, 2020

Joan Cox, 91, of Mason City, passed on Sept. 7, 2020 with her son present at Wesley Place home in Chicago. She is survived by her son Ron Cox of Chicago, her granddaughter Kris Cox of Washington, DC, her one-year-old great-granddaughter Quinn Jo Lorenzetti, and many beloved nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Orvin Cox, her parents Ray and Marie (Dickerson) Holm, and her siblings Bob Holm, Ken Holm, and Janiece Cotner.

Joan was extremely active in her Mason City community, where she lived for more than 80 years. She was especially known for her work as the town’s librarian, running a summer reading and crafts program for kids each week, and for writing the town’s news for more than 55 years for the Custer County Chief, Ansley Herald, Grand Island Independent, and Sherman County Times. Joan was also central to running the town’s annual 3-day Homecoming festival, and spent hours preparing floats for multiple clubs, and coordinating and staffing the local food hall. For many years she created and distributed the Mason City Calendar, which featured photos of town events that she took, and dates of people’s birthdays and anniversaries that she collected. Her creative talents also contributed to a Mason City Centennial Cookbook in 1986, and she was a driving force behind creating the Mason City History Book decades ago and producing an updated version in 2006. Joan was also a dedicated member of the First Baptist Church of Mason City, the American Legion Auxiliary, Community Service Club, the Sunshine Club, and others. She also honored Memorial Day by gathering flowers for the Unknown Soldiers’ grave, soliciting flower girls for the ceremony, selling poppies, and adding flags to the graves of veterans, and then retrieving them at the end of the day. She often led blood drives in the community and donated blood throughout her life. When anyone wanted to know when or where events were happening, it was “Call Joan, she will know.”

When she wasn’t working on something for Mason City she loved to fish, travel, cook, bake, and play cards. With her husband Orvin, and many family and friends, she regularly fished throughout Nebraska in the summer and winter (through the ice). Her home was a regular gathering place for large family dinners on Sundays and for the holidays. In her early years she baked and decorated numerous wedding, anniversary, and birthday cakes for people near and far. She loved to cook and bake for her family and friends, and also tended a large garden and canned its bounty for many years with Orvin. Throughout her life she enjoyed playing cards with many people, especially her good friend Dorothy Mason.

She grew up on a farm south of Mason City and taught in a one-room schoolhouse for one year after graduating from Mason City High School in 1946. As a child her family would visit town to hear the Beechfield Band, directed by her father Ray Holm, and visit with family and friends. She later sang in the church choir and enjoyed music. Joan remained close to many of her nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family members, regularly traveling across Nebraska to visit with them.

She had a great laugh, a passion for building community in Mason City, and a fiery spirit for working hard while enjoying time with family and friends. While she never had a full-time job after teaching, she was one of the busiest people in Mason, or anywhere, giving life to the community she loved and treasured. Joan enjoyed time outdoors with family and thrived in her daily routine in Mason City. In 2012 she moved to Seneca Sunrise in Ravenna, and in 2014 she moved to the Hartwell home in Chicago to be close to her son, Ron. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends, and we are sure that she will remain as busy as can be, contributing however she can.  


Funeral service will be Sunday, September 13th at 1:00 the Mason City Park in Mason City, NE with Rev. Dennis Davenport officiating. Please bring your lawn chair and a mask. Burial will be in the Mason City Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Friday, September 11, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., with family greeting 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow, NE.  Govier Brothers Mortuary will comply with the CDC and State of Nebraska.



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