Mary Barbara Hebner Cox

Honored by:Deirdre Cox Baker and Cathleen Cox Giertsen
Brick location:B:10  map

Mary Barbara Hebner was born December 3, 1923, the daughter and fourth child of Eugene and Katherine Weir Hebner of Minneapolis, Minn. Barb, as she was called, proved to be an excellent student. She was graduated from West High School in Minneapolis at the age of 16 and received her bachelor's degree from the College of St. Catharine, St. Paul, Minn., in 1943. While in college, she was an editor on the school newspaper.

After college she traveled to Washington, D.C., where she lived with her eldest sister, Lucille Margaret Hebner (see separate tribute). Barb worked at the National Archives. In a short time she met and married Emery Cox, Jr., a young lawyer and lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy.

Barbara and Emery had five children: Cathleen Sullivan Cox, Emery Cox III, Mary Barbara Cox, Brigid Cox, and Deirdre Cox.

Barbara and Emery moved from Falls Church, Va., to Minneapolis so she could help care for her mother, who had lateral sclerosis. While in Minneapolis, Barb became active in the Democratic Party. She and Emery chaired the Kennedy for President Campaign in Minneapolis and Barb founded the Democratic League of Women Voters in Edina, the suburb where the couple lived.

Although Barbara became ill in 1969, she remained a strong influence on her children.

Each of her children shares their mother's interest in reading, teaching, education, family, and current national affairs. Barbara has 10 grandchildren and her influences are seen in this third generation as well.

After a long and difficult illness, Barbara died in April 1985. Her children wept in deeper sorrow than they believed was possible and placed the following on her grave: "Beloved Mother and Sister. We Thank You."