Marjorie Louise Greiner Cox was born in White Plains, N.Y., on April 17, 1920, and died peacefully surrounded by friends and family on May 19, 2019, at the age of 99. Marjorie developed a love for math in high school and earned her bachelor’s degree in the subject at Radcliffe College, now fully integrated into Harvard University. Much later she also earned a master’s degree in math education from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Harvard was where she met her husband and love of her life, Doak C. Cox. For the first few years of their marriage, they lived in Cuba; a mining camp in California, where she was the only woman; White Plains, New York; and Denver, Colorado. After World War II, the couple moved to Honolulu, Doak’s home. They arrived after a very long and bumpy seaplane trip across the Pacific. She had to balance in high heels on the wings of the plane as it bounced in the waves and hand over her two babies to the strangers in a boat who were there to greet the plane. She and Doak went on to have three more children of their own, and provided a home for several other youngsters.
Doak’s grandmother, Catherine Cox, was a founding member of Honolulu Friends Meeting in 1937. In 1957 Marjorie and Doak were active participants in that Meeting at the time the Meeting came to unity to purchase the house at 2426 O’ahu Avenue, which became the home for Honolulu Friends Meeting. Their family along with other young families took on the debt of a mortgage to purchase the home while they were supporting and raising their young children. All who worship there now are grateful for the foresight and sacrifice these families made to provide a permanent place of worship for those who have come after them.
Following the birth of her youngest child, Marjorie began a long career as a math teacher at Punahou where she also served as Department Chair. She also found time to serve as the Clerk of the Honolulu Friends Meeting, President of the local chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW), and was active in the Uluniu Club and UNICEF. Following the death of Doak in 2003, Marjorie moved to Arcadia Retirement home where she formed many dear friendships.
Marj loved to travel. One important trip was six months spent in Del Mar, California, when Doak was on sabbatical in 1955. After his work was done, the couple drove across the U.S. with five children and a mountain of camping gear, in a Ford station wagon with a roof sagging inside from the weight of gear on top, and no air conditioning. They visited old friends on the East Coast and drove back to California. Another trip was six months spent in Japan in 1966 with their two youngest children, after which they went around the world to the west, back to Hawaii. They experienced flooding in Venice, almost lost a child when a car door flew open on the cliffs in Greece, and narrowly missed the Six-Day War in the Middle East.
Throughout her life, Marj had a great sense of humor. She was a consummate punster and could slide a pun into any conversation. She also wrote little ditties for every occasion. Her loving spirit and quick wit will be cherished by many. She is survived by five children, 13 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Monday, July 22, 2019, at the Honolulu Friends Meeting at 4:30.