Paula Jo (Jody) McKenzie Cox passed away peacefully after suffering with dementia on Monday, January 20, 2020. She lived a full life; a life most people would admire. Born in Pampa, Texas August 6, 1942, Jody’s parents lived a simple life; her father was an employee of Cabot, and her mother – a housewife. After several years in Pampa, her parents took Jody and her brother to a farm outside of Panhandle, Texas and began creating wonderful memories for their children, and later their grandchildren.
Jody’s brother – Don – decided she needed a different name, a nickname of sorts. Don began calling and referring to her as ‘Jody’ and it stuck. So much so that when she would receive a phone call – even much later in life – and if the caller asked for “Paula Jo” she knew immediately it was either government-related or an extended family member.
The summer after Jody graduated from Panhandle High School – after receiving accolades in theatre, debate and as an honor roll student – she decided to compete in her hometown’s ‘Miss Carson County’ pageant. Jody was crowned, ‘Miss Carson County’ the summer of 1960.
Jody’s professional career included fundraising for some of the most notable not-for-profits in the United States – the Van Cliburn Foundation, Sunny Von Bulow Foundation, Fort Worth-based, St. Joseph Hospital, just to name a few. Jody was also publisher of Fort Worth’s Business Press.
After realizing if she was going to see her Abilene grandsons with any frequency, Jody moved to Abilene, Texas. It was there that she reconnected with fellow Fort Worth Rotarian, Garvin Cox. Garvin and Jody married in 2002 and lived a happy life traveling the world. Their last trip together took place right before her illness…taking them to Greece, Italy and several other countries in the Mediterranean.
After moving to Lake Brownwood, Jody and Garvin opened a home accessory and gift shop near downtown Brownwood. Panache was a fabulous way for them to spend time together. One of their favorite store activities included going to market together in Dallas to see friends and buy one-of-a-kind keepsakes for their regular customers. Jody and Garvin were also active in their church – First United Methodist of Coleman. Anyone who knew Jody, knew how much she loved to spend time in her backyard. An oasis for her, Garvin and visitors, her yard was therapeutic for Jody – spending hours each day planting and maintaining, coupled with enjoying a glass of wine at the end of the day.
Jody was preceded in death by her parents, Elva Smith and Lester McKenzie; brother, Donald McKenzie; and many aunts and uncles. Jody’s survivors include her husband, Garvin; her daughter, Denice and husband, Mark; her son, Derek and wife, Susan; two grandsons: Zachery and Conner; and one granddaughter, Sophia.
Any memorials may be sent to the charity of choice of the sender.
Memorial services pending at this time.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Stevens Funeral Home, 400 West Pecan Street, Coleman.
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