Ann O'Donnell Cox
With adoring family at her side, Ann O’Donnell Cox passed on to all the joys her faith promised on Sunday, May 12 after 98 years.
Born in 1921, Ann lived a life of love and faith, class and intelligence, curiosity and contribution. While growing up learning all the grace and skills expected of a young woman of her time, she also challenged barriers as a female athlete, earning an invitation to try out for the Olympics in track and field. One of eight children, Ann graduated from college with honors and took a job working at a law firm. Challenging a strict upbringing, she ventured out one evening and met the love of her life at the USO club in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri - handsome Edward “Ted” Cox of Lawrence, Massachusetts, temporarily stationed at a nearby base. After his return from the war in Europe, in 1946 they wed beginning their adventure together in his hometown. Opportunity and another war eventually landed them in Indianapolis where they raised their family.
Seeking to contribute to the world outside their happy home, Ann joined woman-owned Walker Research in 1962 in an entry level position. She earned successive promotions, often traveling to meet Fortune 100 clients and open and manage new offices across the country. Always interested in others, she often returned home with stories of the former strangers she met on her journeys. Ann’s dedication and hard work earned her the dual roles of President and Chief Operating Officer of a new division, Walker Clinical Evaluations. She retired from that professional role in 1989.
Continuing her community contributions and fulfilling her interest in people and passion for business, Ann volunteered for the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Little Sisters of the Poor, SCORE and the Executive Service Corp., mentoring aspiring students at Arlington High School.
Ann passionately loved family - her parents and siblings and her many nieces and nephews as well as Ted’s family. Most of all, Ann loved Ted and their children - Edward Cox (Linda), Mary Ann Sadler (Bill), Deborah McNear (Steve) and Ellen Cox. Lifelong partners, Ted and Ann gave their offspring many gifts. Foremost among them: a happy, loving home, lasting connection to extended family and the empowering understanding that they would excel and be successful in whatever they set their minds to do.
Ann’s family joy grew with each new grandchild (six) and great grand child (seven). She shared with them, too, her values and love leaving an enduring legacy.
Family and friends were Ann’s center and all are welcome to a calling and mass to honor her life well lived on Thursday, May 16 at St. Pius X Catholic Church at 7200 Sarto Drive. Calling at 10:00 with Mass following at 11:00. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Ann’s favored charities - the St. Augustine Home (Little Sisters of the Poor) or the St. Vincent de Paul Society.