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Juanita Rose Cox

October 31, 1942 July 20, 2020
Juanita Rose Cox
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Obituary for Juanita Rose Cox

Fourteen months after her death, Major Juanita Rose Coxʼs ashes will be buried on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery. A Full Military Honors ceremony will commence at 9:30 a.m. Guests are asked to arrive 15 minutes early.

Juanita was born on October 31, 1942 in the small midwestern town of Chicago where her father worked in the WII war industry. She was raised in the thriving metropolis of Seymour, Iowa. Juanita was an only child and parents Howard and Velma Cox preceded her in death. By growing up in Seymour, Juanita learned how to shuck corn and milk cows as well as excelling in academics and musical prowess with the saxophone and bassoon. Her mother, Velma was her first teacher in a one room schoolhouse. Recently, a former high school classmate described her “as one sharp cookie.” Basketball and softball were her favorite sports growing up both playing and managing. She attended Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, majoring in Castilian Spanish and Russian. Much later, Juanita attended Golden Gate University receiving her MPA in Public Administration.

She joined the U.S. Air Force in July 1964 and attended Officer Training School at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, where she was commissioned a second lieutenant. Intelligence School in Denver followed. Her first “real” assignment was with Ballistic Systems Division at Norton AFB, San Bernardino. In a small stroke of history, Juanita became one of the first six female line officers to be assigned to Vietnam in July 1967. For the next year she worked 12 hour days in the Intelligence field at 7th Air Force headquarters, Tan Nhut Air Base. She was awarded the Bronze Star medal as a result of her work. Diverted from a joint assignment with the Navy at Norfolk, VA, she found herself as the WAF Training Officer at WAF Basic Training, Lackland AFB. An anonymous observer was quoted as saying “Captain Cox could be both a mother and monster to those naive young girls who wanted to be Women in the Air Force. She always regarded that assignment as one of the most rewarding.

Next came duty in Washington D.C at the Defense Intelligence (DIA) for Juanita. A highpoint of her duties at DIA was the opportunity to debrief prisoners of war returning from Vietnam, The Pearly shores of Hawaii called her next. She was assigned to headquarters Pacific Command as a Watch Officer which meant 12-hour shifts once again.

With her knowledge of the Pacific Theater, it was logical that the Air Force would send her to South Korea for two years, the second of which was voluntary. She worked closely with her Korean and U.S. Army counterparts.
When she arrived at Travis AFB, at what turned out to be her final assignment, she realized that she needed a big house to accommodate all of her bargain shopping treasures. Seven years later Juanita retired from the Air Force, but ever the girl with the midwest work ethic, she sought out another meaningful career. That happened to be real estate. After obtaining her real estate license she worked for a number of organizations in Fairfield, Suisun and Vacaville but settled in at Kappel and Kappelʼs main office for about 25 years.

Juanita leaves behind her soulmate Gina McGuiness whom she had known for 55 years, partners for 41 years and spouses for five, Cousin Tami Blecha (Richard) of Bieber CA, and many relatives scattered throughout Iowa and the rest of the midwest.

In lieu of flowers, consider donating to an animal rescue organization in her memory.

A Celebration of Life will immediately follow the services. Please contact the family for more information.

To plant a tree in memory of Juanita Rose Cox, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Graveside

Tuesday

21

Sep

9:30 AM 9/21/2021 9:30:00 AM
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery

5810 Midway Rd.
Dixon, CA 95620

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery
5810 Midway Rd. Dixon 95620 CA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Final Resting Place

5810 Midway Rd.
Dixon, CA 95620

5810 Midway Rd. Dixon 95620 CA
United States
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