Mary Louise Cox died on Wednesday, February 17 at home in Mamaroneck, NY at the age of 95.
Mary Louise was born in Bismarck, ND. After spending her early years in Jamestown, ND where she developed a love of words and the arts, she moved to the Midwest where she attended Lake Forest College and received her B.A. in English. She later received her Master’s degree in Humanities from Manhattanville College and studied at Teachers College, Columbia University.
A lifelong poet she delighted in involving people of all ages in speaking and writing poetry. Among the projects that gave her the most joy was Poetry Live, a program she founded for Junior and Senior high school students from Westchester schools. She later served as the first Poet Laureate of the Town and Village of Mamaroneck.
Mary Louise was a pioneer and innovator in the criminal justice system at the local and state levels working for years to bring educational and art programs to men and women serving prison sentences in Westchester County. One of her projects helped establish a video center at the Taconic State Correctional facility where inmate talent produced a 1987 Emmy Award documentary titled, AIDS: A Bad Way to Die.
Her volunteer work included serving on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations among these: the Westchester Council on Crime and Delinquency; the Labyrinth Project, Inc.; the Westchester Affiliate of Literacy Volunteers of America; and the Junior League of Northern Westchester. She was also a devoted member of P.E.O and the National League of American Pen Women and a longtime volunteer at the Katonah Gallery.
She had three long-term marriages to three wonderful men beginning in 1945 when she married George O’Brien and settled in Pleasantville, NY where they had four children. They were together until his death in 1957. In 1958 she married John Cox II and moved to Chappaqua where they had two children. After her second husband’s death in 1995, she married Fred Rosenberg in 1998; they lived together in Mamaroneck until his death in 2016.
She is survived by three children by her first marriage (Barbara Beardslee, Rae Ann O’Brien, and Ila Loveridge), two children by her second marriage (John Cox Jr and Darrel Cox Jodrey), 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. One child by her first marriage (Scott O’Brien) predeceased her. She also leaves three stepchildren by her third marriage (Bob Rosenberg, Anne Walsh, and Jean Rosenberg), 6 step-grandchildren, and 5 step-great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Mary Louise’s life will be held this Spring during National Poetry Month in April. Details will be available at WWW.HARRISONFUNERAL.COM
She wished to be remembered by donations to the Westchester Poetry Fund administered by the Westchester Community Foundation:
Westchester Community Foundation
FOR: Westchester Poetry Fund
200 North Central Park Avenue, Suite 310
Hartsdale, NY 10530