Gretchen S. Cox - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Gretchen S. Cox

June 10, 1949 - April 20, 2023

Gretchen S. Cox, age 73, of Landenberg, PA, passed away on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

Born in Charleston, WV, on June 10, 1949, she was the daughter of the late Alfred A. and Annette (Pausewang) Gruber.

Gretchen’s family moved from West Virginia to Orange, TX, in 1954, where she started elementary school. In 1964, her family moved to Newark, DE, where her father worked at the Louviers Building for DuPont. In Newark, Gretchen entered Newark Senior High School as a sophomore. There, she made many lifelong friends and also met her future husband, James Cox.

Upon graduation from Newark High School, Gretchen attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH, graduating magna cum laude in 1971. In July 1971, she married James H. Cox, Jr., a newly commissioned Army Lieutenant. While she and Jim were living in Texas, Gretchen attended Baylor University where she earned a Masters of Art in Teaching (MAT) in Biology which led to teaching high school biology, and then later teaching courses in English and Math for military personnel pursuing their education while serving overseas.

In addition to living in multiple states in the US, Gretchen and Jim lived in Tongducheon, South Korea; Berlin and Garmisch, Germany; Moscow, Russia; Warsaw, Poland; and Vienna, Austria. Gretchen coordinated seamless transitions for the growing family adding in two daughters, Alexis and Jessica. She studied and embraced the culture, language, and history of every new home, to the great benefit of the extended family who visited and had Gretchen as their host and guide. Despite greater than average local upheavals, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the coup in Moscow (1991), Gretchen’s nature filled the house with unwavering calm.

Gretchen and Jim moved back to the Newark, DE area in 2005, where she became a Master Gardener in 2007. She was an accomplished flutist (for almost 60 years!) and in Landenberg performed in the Morgan Hollow Trio, a flute quartet called Just Flutin’, and acted as co-director of the Flute Choir at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She also became an award-winning quilter, once winning top ribbons for two quilts in the same show. She enjoyed taking botanical art watercolor painting lessons and in December 2022, Longwood Gardens selected one of her watercolor paintings for their world-famous Christmas display.

As much as she enjoyed her music, art, quilting, and gardening, by far her greatest joy came from being with her daughters, Alexis and Jessica. She always welcomed friends and family with delicious meals and a keen interest in hearing all their news.

Gretchen was preceded in death by her parents, Alfred A. and Annette Gruber. She is survived by her husband of nearly 52 years, James H. Cox Jr.; daughters Alexis Nicole (Cox) Slupe (David) of Landenberg, PA and Jessica Gruber Cox (Johnathon Hege) of Lancaster, PA; siblings Carol (Gruber) Smith of Newark, DE, and Mark Gruber (Mary) of Landenberg, PA.

Interment will be held privately. A Celebration of Life will be held at Old Stone Cider, 959 Chesterville Rd, Lewisville, PA, on Friday May 12th from 12-4 pm, all friends are welcome.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Afghan Student Support Fund at the University of Delaware, a gift Gretchen supported in the interest of lifting others up, fueling good through education, and empowering 15 young Afghan women to fulfill their greatest potential. Contributions may be mailed to The University of Delaware, 83 E. Main St., Fl 3, Attn: John Shipman, Newark, DE 19716-0600, or made electronically by clicking here.


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16 Condolences for Gretchen S. Cox

  • Sincerest condolences to Jim, Alexis, and Jessie. Gretchen was the best of all of us. Rest in Peace.

  • So sorry for your loss. I only knew her for a short time. Lovely person. Prayers of comfort and peace to all of you. Tammy 6E nurse

  • Dear Cox family,

    I am really sorry for your loss. Even though I wasn’t fortunate enough to know Gretchen personally, I feel that I have been able to see her kindness, curiosity for learning, and good heart in Jessie, whom I’ve known for almost ten years now. At such a sad time, I hope that the beauty of such inheritance would give you some consolation. Un abrazo muy fuerte, Beatriz.

  • Alexis & Family – You have our deepest condolences on the loss of Gretchen. All of our love.

  • Gretchen has left such a mark on the world! I knew her as a Master Gardener, friend, fabric dyer, and quilter – she had so many interests and talents. She will be greatly missed.

  • I’ve known Gretchen and Jim for couple of years. The few times we were able to talk to her without being in a rush or even if it was a quick wave to say “Hello”. Such an amazing person for the short years of knowing her. Our dearest condolences to Jim, Carol, Alexis and Jessie.

  • Good morning Jim
    I learned from the USMLM association of the death of your wife Gretchen. In these painful times, I think of you and I share your grief and that of your family. May Gretchen rest in peace with the Lord.

    Everlasting friendship

    Colonel (retired) Daniel Pasquier in Berlin

  • I loved Gretchen’s contagious joy and enthusiasm for life and benefited from her plant knowledge. So wonderful to read of all her many accomplishments and contributions to so many and her love for her family. May God bless you with so many comforting memories of joyous times as you grieve the loss of such a life-giving partner through life, mother, sister, and grandmother.

  • Morgan Hollow will not be the same without Gretchen. I miss passing her on morning walks. We remember her every time we take a turn around the island as her handiwork lives on. Our love is with her family as they deal with this loss.

  • Very sorry for the great loss to your family. I know your many friends and family will manage the loss. I hope to cross paths while bike riding. It’s been much too long.
    Bill Anderson

  • Jim, Alexis, and Jessica,

    Our condolences to you upon Gretchen’s untimely death. I and Diana miss her already — her smile, humor, talent, and her helpful and caring attitude. I am sure all at the UUFN feel the same way. May memories help console you.

    Dave & Diana Guinnup

  • A truly remarkable and accomplished woman. I followed Jim and Gretchen over the past forty years via the annual Christmas letter and my many email exchanges with Jim. I first met her at Fort Huachuca, Arizona 1977(?) where Jim and I were attending an Army school. Jim was a “geographical bachelor” there without Gretchen, but he talked about her so much that several of us came to feel as if we already knew her by the time she came out to visit Jim. I had not seen Jim or Gretchen in over forty years, but I will miss her.

  • I am so sorry to hear this. Gretchen was an amazing and lovely woman. I wish I could be with you all in person, but will be administering a final exam that afternoon.

  • I am full of grief at Gretchen’s passing. She was an elegant sensitive human , a great flautist and gardener. She will be missed greatly in so many ways.

    Best, Jan

  • Gretchen was such a gift to the UUFN.
    She played for two of my services.
    Her playing was not only technically good but filled with emotion. I will miss this artful soul

  • Sending love and sincere condolences to Jim and your daughters and the rest of your family, on the loss of Gretchen. I’m sorry I received this news so late. I hope all your wonderful memories with your wife (and mother) are helping you get through the difficult times! ❤️