Gertie Cox

Ruth Gertrude (Myers) Cox
November 26, 1921 - September 26, 2007

Gertie with Winnie Thompson at a USFW meeting in June 2007.

Gertie always took time during USFW rummage sales to tie loose hangers together.  This photo was taken in March 2007.

Gertie Myers was born to George Allen Myers and Tarlie Winifred (Martin) Myers at their home in Arba, Indiana, on November 26, 1921. She had two brothers Russell and Eugene, and two sisters Elva and Mary Alice. One other sister died of pneumonia at age one.

Gertie's father was Arba's village blacksmith. She remembered times when gypsies in covered wagons would pass through Arba and would attempt to steal from her father's shop until he chased them off. After spending her earliest years in Arba town, Gertie's family moved to a farm a few miles out in the country. Gertie lived the typical farm kid's life, preferring to do outdoor chores rather than indoor housework. She attended the Whitewater Schools for her entire education and graduated from Whitewater High School in 1940.

On Christmas Eve December 24, 1941 (just weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the US entry into World War II), Gertie was married at Arba to Martin Robert (Bob) Cox, a young man she had dated since her junior year in high school. Bob farmed and was also employed for many years by the Wayne Bus Company in Richmond. Soon after their marriage, Gertie started working at the Richmond Baking Company and continued in employment there throughout Bob's military service from 1943 to 1946. Her kids remember Gertie's telling about playing on the Baking Company's softball team during those years. After Bob's return from the service, Gertie became a full-time homemaker and eventually mother to their three children Linda, Steve, and Dee.

Around 1955, Gertie and Bob moved their young family from the Arba area to a farm southwest of Winchester and shifted their involvements to the new community. Gertie's children remember her raising chickens, selling eggs, and making excellent fried chicken from her flock on the farm. In March of 1970, they transferred their memberships from Arba Friends Church to Winchester Friends where they had become significantly involved in the church's life and ministries. Gertie was very active in the William Penn Sunday School class and the USFW group, was a consistent presence when projects were underway, and helped faithfully for many years to prepare funeral meals for bereaved families. Her caring, serving character was expressed in her community life as well. She was usually helping someone, constantly looking after neighbors and assisting friends who needed a hand.

The final twenty years of Gertie's life were touched by sorrow. Her husband Bob died in 1986, and eight years later in 1994 her daughter Linda died after battling multiple sclerosis. The following year, Gertie moved from the farm into the Sunny Knoll apartments on Winchester's east side and at some point took evening employment for a few years as a janitor at Randolph County Bank. She remained her self-sufficient, active, hardworking self despite having to undergo several significant surgeries over the years.

The numerous Bibles on Gertie's shelf contained detailed records of the significant events in all her family members' lives. In addition, from the late 1950s or early 1960s, she kept fairly intricate diaries of her daily life. It was obvious that Gertie considered herself wealthy in the things that truly matter, that she delighted in her children and grandchildren and enjoyed her life and her family enough to want to remember them.

Gertie's diary entries stopped sometime in July of 2007, about the time others began noticing that she might not be feeling as well as she should. Despite that, Gertie kept on doing the things that mattered to her. In the last several weeks of her life, Gertie was able to spend long weekends with the families of her two children. She died quite suddenly and unexpectedly at home on the morning of September 26, 2007, after phoning her son and daughter to let them know she was feeling unwell. She was 85 years old.

Gertie was preceded in death by her parents and all her siblings; by her husband Bob Cox; and by her daughter Linda Rees. She is survived by her son Steve Cox and his wife Debbie; by her daughter Dee Lumpkin and her husband Ernie; by 8 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; and by a church family who loved her and will deeply miss her friendship and ministry.