Frank & Bright Funeral Home

Leone Cox

Feb 2nd, 1927 - Nov 28th, 2023

     Leone (Neff) Cox, a lifelong resident of the area and loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother who was devoted to her family, died Nov. 28, 2023, surrounded by family including her six children. She was 96.

     She was born on Feb. 2, 1927, at home in rural Clay City to Frank Neff, Jr., and Minnie (Bates) Neff. Leone married Charles W. Cox on Jan. 1, 1950, in Clay County. They shared 38 years together on their family farm in Flora, Illinois, until his passing on May 24, 1988.

     Leone graduated from Clay City High School as salutatorian of her class. She worked for a time at the sewing factory, and later worked at Beltronics, the International Shoe Factory, G.C. Murphy Co., and finally, Walmart, until her retirement. 

     When her husband Charles passed away in 1988, Leone remained independent, filling her days with work, family time, crocheting, quilting, traveling and more. Following her retirement from Walmart, she didn't slow down one bit. She loved her trips with family in many different parts of the country, and spent many long weekends in Branson, Missouri, where she especially enjoyed Silver Dollar City and Dick’s 5 & 10 Store.

     Her family members often laughed about her legendary sweet tooth. It was rare she didn't start the day with a cup of coffee and cookie. Her grandchildren often joked that it was a secret to her long life.

     She is survived by her six children: Walter and Shelby Cox of Walnut Hill, Illinois; Barbara and Dan Jestic of O’Fallon, Missouri; Duane and Carla Cox of Bonne Terre, Missouri; Brenda and Pat Hodges of Centralia, Illinois; Sandra Cox of Woodlawn, Illinois; and Tima Clark of Murphysboro, Illinois; 12 grandchildren: Brian Cox of Portland, Oregon; Shaun and Laura Cox of Cottleville, Missouri; Alisha and Craig Tyler of Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania; Levi Jestic of Platte City, Missouri; Charla Jestic of Castle Rock, Colorado; Amanda and Tet Litzinger of De Soto, Missouri; Matthew and Kerriann Cox of High Ridge, Missouri; Amy and Mark McCaig of Houston, Texas; Lori and Corbett Hollier of Gretna, Louisiana; Jami and Nicolas Jacobs of Centralia, Illinois; Kristopher Clark of Marion, Illinois; and Andrea and Dan Hansen of Carbondale, Illinois; nine great-grandchildren: Annabelle Cox, Benjamin Cox, Averie Cox, Charlie Cox, Lillie Cox, Carmen Jacobs, Daphne Hollier, Elaina Hansen and Oliver Hansen, with one great-grandchild on the way; a sister-in-law: Jean Cox of Flora; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and her beloved cats: Blue Boy, Sally and Dolly.

     She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and three sisters: Hazel Neff, Mildred Hamilton and Velma Frost.

     A funeral ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora. Interment will follow in Kneff Cemetery in Flora. A visitation will be held Friday, Dec. 15 from 5 until 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorial donations are suggested to the donor’s choice of the Clay County Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry, Clay County Animal Rescue & Shelter (CCARS) or Fur a Good Paws, and these will be accepted through the funeral home. To share a condolence or memory, visit: