Zena Zonelle Cox Profile Photo
1924 Zena 2024

Zena Zonelle Cox

December 4, 1924 — June 22, 2024

Zena Zonelle Gregory began delighting the world at her birth on December 4, 1924, on a farm outside of Cor-dell, Oklahoma. Her parents, W.B. "Bill" Gregory and Jessie Lucille (Parman) Gregory and sisters Billie and Bet were thrilled with the new addition, as they were with their baby sister Patsy some years later. Nelle began her new life of joy and peace in her heavenly home on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at the age of 99 years, 6 months and 18 days. Life on a farm in western Oklahoma in the 20's and 30's could have been a sad time, but not if you were Zonelle Gregory and could find fun in small things like seeing if jumping off the barn using an umbrella as a parachute was as cool as it seemed. (It helped that she got her cousin to jump first and, after he broke his arm, decided she would take the ladder back down.) She organized staring contests and foot races and made a game of riding a horse to school Or maybe the fun came as a star high school basketball player when girls sports weren't very high profile and helping her team to the state tournament in 1941 and 1942. Or maybe it was the sparkle in her eyes that drew classmates to follow her on adventures - and misadventures - but also led the Cordell High School class of 1942 to vote her the "Prettiest and the Best". There were practical jokes to be played in between farm chores and school, or sometimes during farm chores and school, and trips to the soda fountain or picture show: She worked hard but always found ways to bring fun and laughter into her world. Those traits of working hard while having fun never faded and she continued both until her death. During those years on the farm Nelle, or Bo as she was called by her family, also learned about Jesus and was baptized while in her teens. That led to a life dedicated to being a Godly example of sharing the Truth and showing that the Christian life was one of great joy. She loved even harder than she worked, spreading her brand of sunshine all throughout her life, including during the last difficult months, and that was manifested in the love shown to her by family, friends and those who helped with her care. While still in high school she met Jack Cox, a young man who lived in Luther, Oklahoma, who was visiting family in the area. After a courtship of brief visits and long letters, they were married on October 29, 1943, at the chapel on the Lemore Field Air Base in Hanford, California. She then began the life of pilot's wife during World War Il, moving several times before Jack left for the South Pacific in 1945. Until his return after the war ended, Nelle lived with her parents in Cordell, then joined him in South Carolina until he concluded his military service. Then followed a couple of years in Norman while Jack finished his degree at the University of Oklahoma. During the years Jack and Zonelle lived in Norman they would travel to Noble or Lexington each Sunday for him to preach. By the time he graduated Nelle had convinced him he needed to preach full time, and their first job was in Sayre. Nelle, who considered western Oklahoma to be the best place in the world to live, was ecstatic, especially since they were close to her parents and sisters. As the family grew and Jack preached at other congre-gations, Nelle spread her love of life to the people in Haskell, Texas, Enid, Oklahoma, Mt. Vernon, Illinois and, much to her delight, back to her hometown of Cordell. In 1984 Nelle and Jack made the first of approximately 20 trips to India where, in the course of their time teaching and preaching, hundreds of people were baptized. Eventually the Lord blessed that effort and a preaching school was begun, which eventually grew to include a widows and orphans home as well as an English language school. She took seriously her role as a preacher's wife, giving Jack encouragement and making sure each member of the congregation felt special. Her joy and laughter drew people to her and she inspired everyone who was around her to enjoy life just a little more, Nelle was more than a bit of an adventurer. She loved to fly with Jack and, during a period of time when he also had a business taking aerial photographs, he would take the pictures from the back of their Cessna 172 (which she named Hoppy) while she did the flying. Nelle wasn't comfortable driving their big Honda motorcycle, but she loved riding with Jack and the two of them were taking cross-country bike rides when they were well into their 70s. They loved going on cruises and traveling to other countries. The trips to India allowed them to also visit other countries in the area and Nelle always managed to squeeze in a little time to shop in each place. For her 80th birthday, the vivacious beauty decided to celebrate by going skydiving - and encouraging her children and grandchildren to join her. A good friend of hers said recently he had never known anyone who enjoyed life more than she and Jack did. A recitation of facts really can't convey the essence of a woman who delighted in service to God, loved others and brought happiness and laughter wherever she went. Nelle believed hard work was expected but it was more than okay to have fun. She thought her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the smartest and most talented and beautiful people on the planet. Nelle loved big and was rewarded with big love in return. Nelle was preceded in death by her husband, Jack; parents W.B. "Bill" and Lucille Gregory; sister and brother-in-law Billie and R.D. King; sister and brother-in-law Betty and Van Hall; brother-in-law Kyle Moore; nieces Rita (King) Williams and Trecia (Moore) Harper; nephew Bill King. She is survived by her three children - Zonelle Rainbolt and her husband Charles of Cordell; Susan Jones and her husband Ken of Cordell; Greg Cox and his wife Ronita of Cordell; grandchildren - Matthew Crandall and wife Amber of Kingfisher, OK; Casey Crandall and wife Chanda of Artesia, NM; Jack Crandall of Carlsbad, NM; Katie Hartman and her husband Bryan of Yukon, OK; Jessie Hardesty and her husband Jackson of Prosper, TX; Jennifer Crockett and her husband Kevin of Lubbock, TX; Mitchell Jones and his wife Audrey of Cowden, OK; McKenna Rena and her husband Mike of Cherry Hill, NJ; Chelodi Sanford of Elk City, OK; and Kade Sanford and wife Meagan of Sayre, OK; Michael Rainbolt and his wife Melissa of Oklahoma City, OK; great-grandchildren - Kali Pasby and her husband of Oklahoma City, OK; RyLee Crandall of Artesia, NM; McKenzie Crockett of Lubbock, TX; Carrigan Crockett of Lubbock, TX; Kord Jones, Cowden, OK; Kal Jones, Cowden, OK., Charlie Kate Hardesty of Prosper, TX; Rhett Sanford of Sayre, OK; Lyla Sanford of Sayre, OK; Lincoln Sanford of Sayre, OK; Lillie Rainbolt of Edmond, OK; and Isabella Rainbolt of Edmond, OK.

Funeral: 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Northside Church of christ

Cordell, Oklahoma

Interment: Lawnview Cemetery,

Cordell, OK

Visitation: 12:00 p.m.~8:00 p.m., Monday, June 24, 2024

Ray & Martha's Funeral Home

Cordell, Oklahoma

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation for Zena Zonelle Cox

Monday, June 24, 2024

12:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Family Visitation for Zena Zonelle Cox

Monday, June 24, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral for Zena Zonelle Cox

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Interment for Zena Zonelle Cox

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Lawnview Cemetery, Cordell, OK

101 East Main, New Cordell, OK 73632

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