Tropical 4

Shirley Olive Ross Cox

October 26, 1937 ~ March 12, 2022 (age 84)



October 26, 1937 — March 12, 2022


Shirley Olive Cox (née Ross), aged 83, was born in Steubenville, Ohio; the only child of John Cassidy Ross and Nancy Ross (née Jester). Her father was a narrow gauge train engineer for the steel mills and was president of the Jefferson Union school board for many years. Her mother was a beautician and owner of Nancy’s Beauty Shop for 63 years.


As a child, Shirley was an active member of 4-H and participated in local pony shows with her beloved Shetland pony Cricket with whom she often shared their favorite snack, Oreo cookies. Her father taught her how to smoke a cigar and swear like a sailor,  referring to her affectionately as “the son he never had.” In her youth, she enjoyed ice skating, singing, and above and beyond anything else she loved reading. During her lifetime she read close to 10,000 times and inspired both her daughter’s and granddaughter’s bibliophilia.


She played the organ for both the United Presbyterian and United Methodist Churches in Richmond for many years and was a member of the choir. She was a graduate of Jefferson Union High School Class of 1955 and graduate of the Westminster College Class of 1959 with a degree in education. While in college she met her fellow classmate and future husband David Keen [Image] [Image] e Cox of New Wilmington, PA. They were married at the United Presbyterian Church of Steubenville in June of 1960. After 31 years of marriage David preceded her in death.


Shirley taught high school English in Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania then furthered her education by studying library science and becoming the Medical Librarian at the Ohio Valley Hospital in Steubenville. After moving to Arizona she became the Complex Librarian in charge of the numerous libraries at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Douglas.


The Order of the Eastern Star was a lifelong devotion for Shirley. She joined at the age of 18 and was an active member for 65 years. Her daughter—a member of the Unionport Chapter and her son—a lifetime member of King Solomon Territorial Lodge 5 of Tombstone—were both in attendance and honored to present her with her 50 year membership pin at a ceremony in Unionport. She was a Past Worthy Matron of Unionport Chapter 360 in Unionport, OH; Past Worthy Matron of Venus 12 in Tombstone, AZ; Worthy Past Matron of Pearl of Venus 6 in Bisbee/Tombstone, AZ. She was Grand Representative to Alberta, Canada from AZ. She was a Past Grand Martha of Arizona. She was a member of the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem. She was an honorary member of S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A.

 She is survived by her son John Ross Keene Cox of McNeal, AZ, her daughter Krystal Ouriaghli and her son-in-law-law Mustapha Ouriaghli of Moon Twp, PA, her grandson Omar Maximillian Ouriaghli of Pittsburgh, PA, and her granddaughter Lillian Ameara Ouriaghli of Moon Twp, PA.

 To those who knew her Shirley was a source of endless knowledge, literally. Those who loved her were blessed by and will sorely miss her sharp and plucky wit.


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