Olive Cox

At 11am on April 7, 2014, at Speedside United Church, we gather to give thanks to God for the life of Olive Margaret (Adsett) Cox, April 13, 1930 – April 3, 2014.

So read the caption on the bi-fold picturing Olive which was handed to us as we solemnly entered the church. To all those not having known Olive Cox, you have missed knowing an exceptional person.

Though related, somewhere in the twisting and turning of time as a distant cousin, she was more like a sister to my Little Lady. Seldom did a day go by that they didn’t chat on the phone; seldom was there a week go by that they did not visit each other.

Their sense of value and ability to cope was one and the same; their love of life could not be more equal. Characteristically speaking, they were sketched with the same pencil, or should I say more correctly, painted with the same soft brush.

Olive mothered nine children – eight boys and one daughter. There was an in-house family joke that among the boys there were certainly no favourites, but when it came to daughters, there was definitely one that she favoured.

Olive loved the simple things in life, humming often as she worked. She visited the Little Lady and I more often than most, as the local KFC, where she was employed in later years, was en route past our house on her way to and from work.

Often a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken would be tucked underneath her arm. She shared often her lunch break with us.

When the Little Lady and I lost two of our boys by accident – the first, our oldest, by car, and the second, our youngest, two and one-half years later, by snowmobile – I’ll give you two guesses as to who was among the first to arrive at our door. You are right on both counts; it was none other than Olive and her husband, Gord.

When it comes to love and their feeling of compassion, they were both generously tarred with the one and same stick. No words were uttered; none was necessary. You would be surprised what a meaningful hug can do. When we hurt, they hurt – you could feel it in the quiver of their handshake, and you could see it in both of their eyes.

The little, round church at Speedside was soon packed from wall to wall as the organ played softly in the background. Many of the faces that crowded in to pay tribute to Olive I instantly knew, yet putting a name on the faces, or where placed, was a difficulty that gave me trouble. Children grow up and older people age. That’s life.

But I also found that I did not have the market cornered on forgetfulness. Many times I would have a hand thrust out to me followed by a statement saying, “I just figured out who you are.”

Had I worn my signature bonnet, my visor, into the church, I know this would have been much less frequent. A near 30-year weekly mug shot in the paper that covers the entire county, fringing beyond, has a tendency to make me known to them, not them to me.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust – to all of us it’s a definite must.

Goodbye, Olive. May your love of God permeate deeply the hearts of your entire family.

Take care, ’cause we care.





Barrie Hopkins