December 18, 1934 ~ April 13, 2019
Born in: Asheville, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC
Patricia Stevens Cox, 84, of Asheville, NC, passed away peacefully on April 13, 2019 at Care Partners Solace Center following a long illness. Yet, that is only the end note to an extraordinary life. Pat, as she was known to friends and family, was born in Asheville on December 18, 1934. She grew up during the Great Depression where she learned the value of hard work and diligence. These traits would characterize her life for decades to come.
Upon graduating from St. Genevieve of the Pines in 1952, she was recruited by the FBI and moved to Washington, DC where she served under the bureau’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover. In 1952, Pat married her high school sweetheart, Mack Joseph Cox. Following his service in the U.S Navy during the Korean War, the couple moved back to Asheville where they started a family. At age 33, Pat pursued her dream of obtaining a college degree, which she completed in three years. As a member of the first graduating class of the newly-formed University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) in 1970, Pat graduated magna cum laude and was awarded the Cecil B. Reid Scholarship. She was also recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Pat began her career as an educator in the Buncombe County public school district where she taught fourth grade at Haw Creek Elementary School. She went on to complete her master’s degree and during her 25-year career, was honored as a Buncombe County Teacher of the Year. Pat also worked part-time at H&R Block as a tax preparer and became a licensed NC real estate broker.
After retirement, she resided in North Myrtle Beach, SC and spent summers at Lake Santeetlah in Robbinsville, NC, as she loved both the mountains and the coast. Pat enjoyed nature, socializing, playing bridge and traveling. She visited most of the United States as well as Europe, Canada, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Known for her fantastic sense of humor and laser-sharp wit, she was blessed with many loyal friends throughout her life. An avid gardener, she was a member of the Thunderbird Mountain Garden Club at Lake Santeetlah. Pat especially enjoyed her later years as an active member of the Crowfields community in Asheville.
As a lifelong parishioner of The Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville, she volunteered for the Catholic Daughters and Altar Society and served as a Sacristan. She also delivered Meals on Wheels and was a passionate supporter of Habitat for Humanity. An active Democrat, she served as Chair of the 18th Precinct in South Asheville and as a delegate. Her legacy of a life well-lived in service to others will long be remembered by her family and friends.
Pat is survived by her husband of 65 years, Mack Joseph Cox and her two children, Catherine Cox Dravis and husband Bernard of Huntersville, NC, and Joseph Mark Cox of Sharon, SC; granddaughter, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Dravis, and grandson, Brice Cox. She is also survived by her siblings, Tom Stevens and wife Emilie of Durham NC, Charles Stevens and wife Gaye of Cumming, GA, and Judith Burk and husband William of Greenville, SC. Also surviving are her brother-in-law, David Cox and wife Ginger of Easley, SC and many beloved nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces. She is preceded in death by her parents, Carl E. and Reba H. Stevens.
The family would like to offer special thanks to Patricia’s loyal caregivers, Liz Jones and Yonna Jones, who took excellent care of her in recent years, as well as Care Partners Hospice and their wonderful staff.
A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at 10:00 AM. on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at The Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville, NC. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, from 7:00 -8:00 p.m. at Groce Funeral Home at 72 Long Shoals Road in Arden, NC.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Habitat for Humanity, an organization aligned with Pat’s belief that access to safe and affordable housing is a human right.
Memorial Service: April 17, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Basilica of St. Lawrence DM
97 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801