Janice K. Cox

July 23, 1947May 22, 2018

Janice Kay Cox, 70, of Bloomington died Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 8:35 a.m. at Luther Oaks Assisted Living in Bloomington. She was born July 23, 1947 in Olney, the daughter of Warren and Mary Lewis Peters. She married Carrol B. Cox on May 10, 1969 in Bloomington. He survives. Janice was a graduate of Illinois State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature. She was union steward of the U.S. Postal Service in Bloomington, and also served as the president of the Bloomington local of the American Postal Workers union. She had a second career as a network engineer at State Farm from 1999 until retiring in 2012. She loved the outdoors, both gardening and as an intrepid morel mushroom hunter. She loved music and was particularly passionate about opera and Broadway musicals. She herself played the flute, oboe and well as singing and whistling enthusiastically when the mood took her, which it often did. She and her husband Carrol dedicated their lives to social justice and environmental causes. She was a member of many organizations such as SDS, The Red Star Council, New Voice, CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), Students for a Free Palistine, Bloomington Normal Peace and Justice, League of Revolutionary Struggle and Solidarity. Family was deeply important to Janice. In addition to hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas she also organized a family reunion every Memorial Day weekend at Lake Schafer in Monticello, IN at the Triplett’s Lighthouse Lodge.

In addition to her husband, Janice is survived by her mother of Arthur; her stepmother, Peggy Peters of Effingham; four children, Mark H. (Borbala) Cox of New York, NY; Heidi Andrews of Findlay, OH; Lillian G. (James Knapp) Cox of Kalamazoo, MI; and Catherine L. (Christopher Witte) Cox of Warrenville. She is also survived by three grandchildren, Éva Mary Cox, and Reed and Katherine Andrews; a sister Karen Shea of Wheeling, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is preceded in death by her father Warren A Peters. Janice’s memorial service will be held on Friday June 1st, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal, IL at 1613 E. Emerson St. Memorial contributions can be made to the Monthly Review,, The Baby Fold of Normal IL, Ecology Action Center Normal IL


  • Memorial Service Friday, June 1, 2018

Janice K. Cox

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May 30, 2018

I'm so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Cox will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her. She was kindhearted yet passionate and vigilant when it came to the injustices taking place today. We all yearn for better days in peaceful conditions free from mourning, pain, and outcry. When Jesus was on Earth he witnessed first hand the distresses things taking place during his time. He cared deeply about others and was motivated by love in performing his works mentioned in Luke 5:22 which says "In reply he said to them: “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind are now seeing, the lame are walking, the lepers are being cleansed, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised up, and the poor are being told the good news." We can look forward to these works being fulfilled on a global scale and permanently in the near future. May this good news of something better to come fill you with comfort and peace.

Lori Paton

May 24, 2018

Jan was such a down to earth person, and if she told you she would be there, you could count on it. She was a true activist in the tradition of Dr. King, always respectful. She had a positive impact on everyone, and I am so sorry to hear of her passing

Mike Matejka

May 24, 2018

Jan was a dear friend and always had a caring vision for her larger, global community. Her quiet persistence and ever cheerful personality was a gift to all of us. Nothing ever seemed too big to ask of her. She shared her love not only with her family, but with her community, and her heart was always open and supportive of all, keeping a positive attitude, even if the darkest time. We will miss her quiet smile and warm eyes deeply.

Dan Wyman

May 24, 2018

High school is tough. But if you’re lucky during those years you find a cool adult—cool, so obviously not either of your own parents—who you look up to and who makes time for you. Maybe it’s a favorite aunt or uncle. Or a coach or teacher. Or a neighbor or a friend’s mom or dad.

I was lucky. I met two cool adults named Jan and Carrol.

I first met Jan at a program put on by the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, CISPES. I was a sophomore in high school and I felt ties to the left wing politics of punk music and to the Latin America of my mom’s youth. So a poster promoting a program about revolutionary El Salvador caught my eye. It didn’t hurt that attending would get me extra credit in social studies class.

I remember Jan at the literature table, I don't have to tell you how outgoing and friendly she was. She engaged this awkward high school kid with a weird haircut, welcoming me, encouraging me to sign in and to take a newspaper and to stick around.

I definitely did sign up to be on the CISPES mailing list, but it was Jan who, in befriending me, didn’t know what she was signing up for. The friendship led to my often stopping by her and Carrol’s house, always completely unannounced, just to talk. Warmly, they would put on coffee, and we would sit on their front porch, she and Carrol smoking pipes and me smoking cigarettes, talking about politics and political organizing.

Their front porch became my little red schoolhouse. Though Jan and Carrol were Marxist scholars, they treated 16-year-old me as a peer and as a friend and introduced me to ideas and writings that changed my understand the world and of what was to be done to improve it.

Jan and Carrol also introduced me to other people who would become very important to me, including, indirectly, Jenny Keller, whom I would marry 10 years later. I would sometimes visit them when I was back in Normal seeing my parents, now usually calling before I stopped by.