Mary Jean Dunsmore Cox passed away peacefully in Long Beach on Sunday, April 14. Mary Jean was born to George and Ella Dunsmore in St. Albans, Vermont on January 9, 1925. She attended a one-room school until eighth grade, sometimes riding her pony to school. She graduated from Bellows Free Academy, second in her class, and earned a scholarship to the University of Vermont, where she earned a B.A. in English and a teaching credential. A Theta, she met her future husband David Marshall Cox, who was a Sig at the same college. They were married in St. Albans on July 3, 1948. Soon after their first son, Glenn, was born, they moved to Cambridge, MA, and Dave worked as a radio producer in Boston. Alison was born there, and then they bought a home in Wilmington, MA, the original part of which was built ca. 1680. Mary Jean resumed teaching after Lee was born, and Dave began writing for television. During those years, Mary Jean was active in UCC affairs, serving as vacation bible school director and in various other capacities. In 1968, the family moved to Woodland Hills, CA when Dave was offered a writing job on "Laugh In". Mary Jean started teaching 7th grade English for LAUSD, and continued for 21 years before retiring in 1989, most of those years at Nobel Middle School. When Mary Jean and Dave retired, they returned to St. Albans, to an old brick farmhouse that they had been restoring during summers for many years. Mary Jean stayed very active as a church member, a historical museum volunteer, and the family genealogist. She would walk several miles daily, picking up litter to recycle as she walked, donating the funds she made on recycling bottles to a local clean-up program. When Dave died in 1998, Mary Jean began to spend winters in Long Beach; then she lived here with her son Lee for the past few years. Mary Jean was a loving, caring, highly respected person who will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be held Saturday at the Los Altos United Church of Christ, 5550 Atherton St., Long Beach. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the
. Please sign the guestbook at www.presstelegram.com/obits.
Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on Apr. 19, 2013