Anita L. Cox - age: 106
(May 27, 1912 to March 01, 2019 )
Resident of Ukiah, California
Anita L. Cox
Anita Louise Cox, a lifelong resident of the Ukiah Valley, passed away peacefully at her home on March 1, 2019. Born in Talmage on May 27, 1912, to George and Mary Garaventa, she was just a few months from celebrating her 107th birthday. She was a truly extraordinary person, both in terms of her longevity and her kindness.
After her parents decided to move off the Garaventa Ranch east of Talmage and make a new home nearby she lived over 100 years in the family home in which she was raised. She experienced many remarkable changes in the world during her lifetime. Anita began her life in an era when a horse-drawn wagon or buggy was the daily mode of transportation. She enjoyed the buggy rides she and her sister took with their mother across the Russian River all the way to downtown Ukiah where her grandmother owned and operated a candy and ice cream shop. In those days she could never have imagined that one day she, her sister and son would fly to Hawaii in an airliner. She said the very thought of such a thing would have been “far-fetched.”
She recalled times when neither electricity nor telephones existed in many homes and daily life was very different from what it is today. As a young girl she often visited her maternal grandparents at the Levaggi Ranch, located at the end of what was previously named Levaggi Lane in Ukiah, where family members gathered in a room lighted by kerosene lamps to play games and tell stories of family folklore.
Anita graduated from Ukiah High School in 1930. Later, she and her high school best friend Lena Grilli-Quick travelled through California, Oregon and Washington to pack fruit in various packing facilities. They made many life-long friends along the way and their strong work ethic and high productivity made them welcome additions at each of the seasonal packing facilities. Traveling in Lena’s car, it was an adventure of a lifetime for these two young women and in later years they often reminisced about those good times. During one of the trips Anita met her future husband of 41 years in Walnut Grove, CA, and subsequently devoted her life to raising their three children. Her husband’s brother married her sister and constructed their home next door to the family home where they lived out their lives, sisters married to brothers.
Before her mother passed away in 1950, Anita promised she would take care of her father and she did so faithfully in the family home for the remainder of his life.
All three of Anita’s children knew they had the best and most beautiful mom in the world and appreciated the gift of love and kindness she gave them each and every day. When the kids were in grammar school, she enthusiastically volunteered to serve as a room mother for many of their classes, baking special treats with elaborate decorations enjoyed by all during class celebrations. She was the consummate homemaker, having done everything from sewing clothes from scratch for her young daughters to cooking three meals per day for her family every day, including delicious Italian dinners. She was an expert at crochet and created many beautiful throws and pillows that her family and friends have enjoyed for years.
She enjoyed participating in several family road trips, including one all the way to New York City. She fondly recalled climbing the spiral staircase in the Statue of Liberty, touring the White House in Washington, DC and visiting Mt. Rushmore.
She inherited a green thumb from both of her parents and raised a robust vegetable garden every year, well into her late 90’s. Family and friends observed that she always looked and acted at least 20 years younger than her actual age. By all accounts she was an amazing person.
Anita was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Agnes, husband Kelly and eldest daughter Janis. She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Joyce and Troy McGrew of Oregon, son Kelly of Kelseyville, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She will always be remembered, loved and greatly missed by her family and friends.
At her request, no formal services will be held. Private burial will be in the family plot at the Ukiah Cemetery.