Martin Funeral Home

128 North Resler Drive, El Paso, TX


Holly Cox

October 17, 1932August 29, 2020

Holly Cox passed away peacefully on the morning of Saturday, August 29, 2020. She is survived by her two sons, Curtis Cox and Chris Cox; her daughter-in-law, Sylvia Cox, and her beloved granddaughter, Heather Cox. She was preceded in death by her husband, Sanford C. Cox, Jr.

Holly grew up surrounded by the art community of El Paso, including her father, artist Eugene Thurston, and her grandmother, artist Fern Thurston. She began painting as a child, when her grandmother Fern would tell her, “You sit here, and I’ll sit there, and we will paint.” (Holly did the very same thing with her own granddaughter, Heather, teaching her the magic of transferring an idea onto the canvas.)

Holly took art lessons at 12 years old with Cristo Rey sculptor and artist, Urbici Soler. In later years she would recount that he once looked at one of her drawings, and then told the class, “That’s how you draw people.”

She began showing her paintings with her father and grandmother in 1949. She also studied privately with Eloise Hobble, Robert Massey, Ellen Coogler, Vera Wise, Rogelio Madera de la Peña, Win Korf, and Ben Konis, among others.

She shared close friendships with many El Paso artists, including Hal Marcus, Bill Rakocy, Manuel Acosta, and Jose Cisneros. She kept the paper flowers Manuel Acosta gave her for many years.

Holly received her bachelor’s degree in art in 1954 from Texas Western College, and taught at El Paso High School, the YMCA, and The El Paso Museum of Art. Her paintings are in the collections of the El Paso Museum of Art, the International Museum of Art, Providence Memorial Hospital, the El Paso Art Association, and many private collections.

She co-authored three books: Into the Desert Light: Early El Paso Art 1850-1960; Guide to Early El Paso Artists; and Eugene Thurston: Master Painter of the Southwest.

Art was Holly’s world, second only to her family. She will be missed.

A memorial will be scheduled at a later date.


  • Sandford C. Cox Jr., Husband (deceased)
  • Curtis Cox III, Son
  • Chris Cox, Son
  • Sylvia Cox, Daughter-in-law
  • Heather Cox, Granddaughter

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No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Holly Cox

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Gretchen Trominski

September 4, 2020

I was so very sorry to read that Holly had died. Just yesterday I was reminiscing with a Bookmark customer about her and Sanford’s loyalty and support of the Friends of the Westside Library. I miss their smiling faces and positive vibes at the store and when attending art functions. It was always such a delight running into them there. I always loved knowing someone like Holly who was local art royalty. I am lucky enough to have one of Holly's acrylics hanging in my dining room. I blow it a kiss frequently when passing by. Please know that I feel honored to have known her and your Dad and miss their presence in my life. They are remembered. Most sincerely, Gretchen Trominski


Learn more about the Cox name