Martha Elizabeth McCullough Green Cox, 72, died peacefully in her home on February 28, 2015 from metastatic lung cancer.
Marty may not have originated the saying, “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is not,” but it defined her unique outlook on life. She was a lifelong kid at heart and if anyone ever asked her age she always smiled and told them 10.
She was born to George Henry and Mary Viola (MacCallum) McCullough in Levenworth, KS on August 18, 1942
She attended Patrick Henry High School, Mpls, MN and graduated from Washington HS, Sioux Falls, SD in 1960 where she was a National Merit Scholar. She attended Kansas University and Middlesex County College.
She married David Thomas Green on March 11, 1961 at Overland Park, KS. They later divorced.
She married Charles Maurice Cox on May 31, 1976 at East Brunswick, NJ. He preceded her in death on Feb 7, 2010.
Despite being a responsible adult, she never lost touch with her 10-year-old self who loved playing with dolls, telling stories, and working with her hands. She played with her favorite doll, Mary Hoyer in childhood, but other than that she was a classic tomboy. She loved climbing trees, running wherever she went, and learning tumbling skills such as somersaults and cartwheels. She loved working with her Grandpa Jack in woodworking and other traditionally male activities. She and her mother Mary Viola replaced the tongue and grove wooden porch when she was still in elementary school. She was fearless in pursuit of anything she ever decided to do. In a place and time when girls were supposed to learn to be ladies and not compete with boys, Marty was a breath of fresh air and a “Mighty Girl” before it was cool.
As an adult, she loved reading science fiction and fine literature, music, word puzzles, Sudoku, remodeling, gardening both a full garden and her porch flowers, and continuing doll play.
She was always ready to share her love with others, so for several years she volunteered on the suicide hotline in NJ and each summer took in Fresh Air Kids, children from the poorest areas of New York City to give them a summer away from poverty.
She was active for 10 years in Boy Scouts, and 20 years in Girl Scouts, 4-H, and was a parent volunteer with Ottawa Suzuki Strings. She was a strong advocate for Home Birth, LaLeche League and Home Schooling. She had a lifelong joy of music. She taught herself to play the guitar and many a family gathering was spent in song. She absolutely loved to sing. She encouraged her children and grandchildren to take up an instrument or sing with joy, and music filled their lives through her love and encouragement.
After she moved to Ottawa she was a founding member of the Ottawa area Home-Schoolers starting in 1984. She never really stopped home schooling, happily teaching her grandchildren when she could. She was active at Trinity United Methodist Church in the 1980's and most recently became a member of Richter United Methodist Church. During those years she was known to volunteer where ever she was needed, Church, Ottawa Library, Suzuki. She was also a member of several United Federation of Doll Clubs Starting in 1983 both in Lawrence and Ottawa and was a founding member of the first UFDC sanctioned on-line doll club, D.O.L.L.S.
She is nationally known for her illustrated doll stories that she shared on-line with other collectors on eBay's Doll Chat. She also self published two childrens books with her dolls as the main characters.
Through the former Doll Chat room on eBay, Marty became a strong influence on other doll collectors, especially by posting stories and pictures “starring” her Schoenhut and Mary Hoyer dolls. Other collectors who met for discussion on the site were charmed by the stories of the strange-looking wooden dolls, most of them more than 100 years old. Marty gave personality and purpose to the dolls, leading others who read the stories to start their own collections and do more with their dolls than display them.
Beyond that, though, Marty was a strong force bringing the doll collectors together in friendships that extended beyond the internet. Many of the women who met each other through the site began to call each other, and some have visited in each others homes as well as gathering during annual doll conventions across the country. In this group, celebrations of birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and the birth of children and grandchildren were enjoyed, and sad occasions were made more bearable through the prayers and support of other like-minded women. She was able to travel the country to meet many of these ladies and many were invited to her home to share in their mutual love of dolls.
When she learned her illness was terminal, Marty’s “life is good” outlook stayed strong. She presented new stories with her beloved Schoenhut dolls, washed and ironed doll clothes, worked around her house as she was able, and enjoyed visits from all of her children and several siblings. Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2014 were especially joyful for her and her family.
She is survived by 7 children; Mark Green (Terri), Vancouver, WA; Elizabeth-Betsy Lee Dysart (Cary), Ottawa, KS; Judith- Judy Mary Clark, East Brunswick, NJ; Susan-Suzie Eleta Hutton (Charles Gallagher), Old Bridge, NJ; Emily Sarah Green (Bill Pine), Levittown, PA; Jesse Robertson Cox, Ottawa, KS; Patricia-Tricia Ruth Cox, Porterville, CA
2 sisters and 1 brother; Mary Ruth Mora, Holton, KS; Esther Jean Klay (John), Ballwin, MO; Timothy Michael McCullough, Overland Park, KS
9 grandchildren, Cameron Loperfido, Thomas McGregor, Rebecca McGregor, Mason Clarke, Anna Dysart, Katelyn Dysart, Savanna Roberts, Samuel Roberts, Jacob Kelm
4 great grandchildren, Coralyn McGregor, Caleb Roberts, Cody Roberts, Christopher Roberts
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and 3 grandchildren, Shane Jay Leecy, Rachel Viola McGregor, Christopher Roberts
A home-going service is planed for March 23 at 1:00 at the Richter United Methodist Church, 3158 Idaho Road, Ottawa, KS. The Reverend Lori Stevens will be officiating.
Fond remembrances and condolences may be posted on her obituary listing at www.midwestcremationsociety.com or on this memorial site.
Memorial donations may be made to “K-9 for Katie” care of Betsy Dysart , 811 S. Hickory St, Ottawa, KS 66067 or The Franklin County Cancer Foundation at www.franklincountycancer.org
This online memorial was created in loving memory of Martha Cox, whose life story is told throughout this memorial website. Please sign our mothers guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember her forever.