Mary Jane Cox Campbell, 101, died Nov. 17, 2019 in Hopkins, MN. Services will be held Monday, Nov. 25 at the Belmond United Church of Christ, with visitation at 9:30 a.m. and the funeral at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow. Memorials are suggested to P.E.O Educational Projects, the Belmond UCC, or the Belmond Public Library.
Mary Jane was born to Dr. James L. “Roy” and Clara May Pauley in Mason City on Feb. 27, 1918. She graduated from Mason City High School in 1935, attended Mason City Junior College (NIACC), and graduated from Iowa State College (ISU) in 1940 with a BS in textiles and clothing. She taught home economics at Belmond High School before marrying Luin B. Cox in 1941.
In addition to providing constant love and support to her beloved husband and children, Mary Jane served both Belmond and a wider community in multiple roles. She was long an active servant and leader in the Belmond United Church of Christ-Congregational, Century Club, Camp Fire Girls, Belmond Area Arts Council, Belmond Library Foundation, Friends of the Library, Lyric Theater, Pi Beta Phi Sorority, NIACC Foundation Board, and her beloved P.E.O. She was inducted into her mother’s Chapter GN, P.E.O. in Mason City at age 18. In 1966 she was a charter member of Chapter LV in Belmond and served in every leadership position over the ensuing years. She was honored to join the state board in 1977, leading to a term as president of Iowa State Chapter of P.E.O. in 1982-83. Over the years she held many local, state and international committee positions.
Heartbreak came with Luin’s death in 1980, and she found great solace in her family, friends and faith. Five years later she became reacquainted with childhood friend Robert Campbell at the 45th reunion of their Iowa State University graduating class. They happily married in 1985 and enjoyed 27+ years together before Bob’s death in 2013. In 2006 they moved to Edina, MN to be closer to daughter Martha’s family. True to form, Mary Jane enjoyed attending grandchildren’s school programs, piano recitals, Chapter BP, P.E.O. meetings, Good Samaritan Methodist Church, and served as secretary of the resident council for several years at their senior living facility. In 2015 Mary Jane suffered a devastating stroke that took most of her memory but left her kind and loving disposition intact. She adored and was adored by her Augustana Chapel View and hospice caregivers.
She was preceded in death by her siblings James and Martha; husbands Luin Cox and Robert Campbell; daughter Mary Lu Olson; son-in-law Ronald Olson; and granddaughter Andrea Cox Allen.
She is survived by children Lucinda McNeely, Robert Luin Cox (Julie), James Cox (Karen) and Martha Ho (Fred); stepchildren Carol Elliott (Dave), Bruce Campbell and Scott Campbell; grandchildren Dean Olson (Ruth), John Olson (Barbara), Judith McNeely Peña, Thomas McNeely, James Ross Cox, Matthew Ho, Kristin Ho and Marc Luin Ho; six step-grandchildren; eighteen great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.