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CHAMPAIGN — Mary H. Cox, 79, of Champaign returned to her eternal heavenly home on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021.

We can only imagine the reception she is having with her parents, Ralph and Dorothy (Sumpter) Dennis; her loving husband, James; and her brother, Philip Dennis. Her heart is feeling the Glory and Presence of her Savior Jesus. She is dancing and singing all the while being still in His awesomeness. 

Mary came into her temporary home March 3, 1942, in Quincy; born of Ralph and Dorothy (Sumpter) Dennis. She spent her early years on the farm with her brother Philip Dennis in Augusta and Bowen, where she attended grade school and high school. She ventured out from the small town of Western Illinois to big cities in Minnesota and Illinois.

She met and married her husband, James Cox, on Aug. 12, 1962, and begin to build their home and family in Champaign. She is blessed with three children and their spouses, Philip (Sharon) Cox, Bryan (Tina Elizabeth) Cox and Debra (Steve) Greaser. She dearly loved her grandchildren, Austin Cox, Spencer Cox, Britney Cox, Coty Greaser, Gabrielle Greaser, Luke Greaser, Corey Witt, Brandi Flores; and her great-grandchildren, Finley and Lilla Flores.

Mary grounded herself and family as a longtime member of Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign. To support her family, she worked 25-plus years, all on third-shift overnights at Kraft, as a line operator producing American sliced cheese. Upon retirement, she kept active working at day care centers and the County Market deli and even opened a Ladies Workout Express franchise.

She will forever be remembered as nurturing, kind-hearted, giving, pure, strong-willed and selfless.

For her and those she hopes to see again, she wants all to sing: “Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. Let not your heart be troubled, His tender word I hear, And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

She is forever free to dance and sing hallelujah in the presence of Jesus.

Come celebrate and remember Mary on Wednesday Nov. 24, 2021, in the South Sanctuary of Faith United Methodist Church, 1719 S. Prospect Ave., Champaign. Visitation will be at 10:30 a.m., with the service, officiates by the Rev. Dr. Sheryl Palmer, starting at 11. At noon, she will be laid to rest in Grandview Memorial Gardens, 4112 W. Bloomington Road, Champaign.

Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy, is handling arrangements.

Caring love and thanks to the Carle Foundation Hospital CV ICU doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, social worker, et al. You will forever be in our hearts, and most of all, hers.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Faith United Methodist Church ASP youth program.

Condolences may be offered at

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