Leona Kathryn Boyle Cox died on December 13, 2019, at age 97. She was born on March 18, 1922, in Perry County, Indiana. Her parents were Charles H. and Edith (Schove) Boyle.
Leona is survived by her children Katy (Phil) Smith and Russell (Mary Lou) Cox, her grandchildren Brad (Karen) Smith, Amanda Smith, Megan Cox, Stephen (Jordan) Cox, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Evelyn Harding, brother Bob Boyle, and her husband of 61 years Hollie “Red” Cox.
Leona attended a one-room schoolhouse, walking through the woods with her siblings to Bear Creek School. In 1939 she graduated from Cannelton High School where she was valedictorian and received a one-year scholarship to Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana. The business classes she took at college prepared her for work at a session of the Indiana General Assembly. She rode a streetcar to the Statehouse. She also worked for the Indiana Department of Public Instruction during the terms of four different superintendents. Her work in the Statistical Division there included calculating average daily attendance. She also handled payroll, which made her popular on payday, she said.
For 70 years Leona ensured there was a garden to feed family, friends, and neighbors. Leona created beautiful quilts that were hand-pieced and hand-quilted. She also enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, canning, and would rather play Scrabble than eat or sleep. Leona worked hard all her life and said she was “being ornery” if she wasn’t busy.
In the last few years the help Leona received from caregivers allowed her to stay in her home. She was especially close to Maudy, Martia, Jen, and Maggie.
Leona’s legacy is the gift of unconditional love. She revered her mother and daddy and it was clear they loved her more than the sun, the moon, and the stars. How do we know this? She spent her life loving her family the same way.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis or a charity of your choice.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 17, from 4 – 8 pm at Singleton Community Mortuary and Memorial Center, 1202 S. Lynhurst Drive, Indianapolis. Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 am, Wednesday, December 18, 2019 with calling one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Floral Park Cemetery.
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