Dena Cox passed away March 9, 2019 after a brief illness. She was 95 years old. She is survived by three of her four children and three grandchildren: Donna (Tom); Larry (Simone), grandson Wolfie; and Nancy (Michael), grandsons Evan and Andrew. Dena’s daughter, Susan Joyce, died in 1981 and was always held deeply in Dena’s heart. Dena was born in San Pedro, California to Greek immigrant parents, Sophia and George, and had three younger sisters: Tula, Patricia, and Georgia. Dena, the culture broker of her family, thrived in the San Pedro immigrant culture of the 1930s and 1940s, and was recognized as a leader among her peers during her Junior and High School years. While at San Pedro High School, she was voted the first Girls League President, a recognition among teachers and peers of her ease with people due to her warmth, sincerity, and ability to positively influence others. Dena married Jay Ashton Cox in 1952 and in 1961 the couple located to Rolling Hills Estates where they raised their children. She enjoyed being a homemaker and mother and was always the positive voice of encouragement and self-determination for her children’s success. She welcomed her children’s friends into her home and treated them like family. She worked for Palos Verdes High School as an Executive Secretary in the 1970s where she was a friendly face in the front office for staff and students. Dena started her real estate management career late in life where she proved herself as an adept property owner and manager because of her good judge of character. She worked up until she was 94 years old exhibiting the boundless enthusiasm she had for life. Dena’s most memorable attributes were her sense of humor, candor, sincere caring nature, and ability to share her inner wisdom about making good choices, following one’s dreams, and trusting that success would follow as a result. Dena’s life was the embodiment of her philosophy. Wherever she went people responded to her loving nature and joy of the moment. She will be missed by her children and grandchildren for her gentle guidance, persistent positivity and strength of character. Mom and Yiayia we hold you in our hearts forever. Dena’s celebration of life will be private, reserved for family and friends.

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  1. I met Dena in 1978 when I started my job as High School principal at Palos Verdes HS. Dena was not only friendly and resourceful but totally competent. I relied on her knowledge warmth and good sense. She was a true confidante. One of the special treats was Dena’s ability to cook Greek delicacies. We all appreciated those goodies. Dena brought joy with her every day. I’m glad she was a part of my life.

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