2007.11.22: November 22, 2007: Headlines: COS - Congo Kinshasa: Obituaries: The Spectrum: Obituary for Congo Kinshasa RPCV Blanche Elvira Cox Clegg

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Congo - Kinshasa (Zaire): Peace Corps Congo Kinshasa : Peace Corps Congo Kinshasa: Newest Stories: 2007.11.22: November 22, 2007: Headlines: COS - Congo Kinshasa: Obituaries: The Spectrum: Obituary for Congo Kinshasa RPCV Blanche Elvira Cox Clegg

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Obituary for Congo Kinshasa RPCV Blanche Elvira Cox Clegg

Obituary for Congo Kinshasa RPCV Blanche Elvira Cox Clegg

After teaching high school English, math and science for 10 years in Mesquite, Nev., she taught at an alternative school in Salt Lake City until she joined the Peace Corps at age 50 and spent three years in Zaire, Africa, teaching English.

Obituary for Congo Kinshasa RPCV Blanche Elvira Cox Clegg

Blanche Elvira Cox Clegg

Blanche Elvira Cox Clegg, teacher, writer, social activist, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and humanitarian, died Nov. 22, 2007, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law in Cape Girardeau, Mo., at the age of 81.

She was born on May 5, 1926 in Murray, Utah to Jesse Eliza and George F. Cox, was raised in Bauer, Tooele and Salt Lake City, and attended both Tooele High School and Granite High School.


She worked as a tank inspector at Tooele Ordnance Depot during WWII, and she married Allan Clegg on Oct. 23, 1944.

They lived in Erda, Utah, where they started their family and Blanche wrote a weekly column for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin, before moving to Salt Lake City in 1954. They had seven children.

Blanche later attended the University of Utah while raising her children as a single mother and received her B.A. in 1966.

After teaching high school English, math and science for 10 years in Mesquite, Nev., she taught at an alternative school in Salt Lake City until she joined the Peace Corps at age 50 and spent three years in Zaire, Africa, teaching English.

On her return, she lived in Cedar City and Parowan, Utah for many years where she became a librarian archivist and worked in Special Collections at Southern Utah University until her retirement in 1998.

Blanche overcame many obstacles in her life and had an enormous influence on nearly everyone she met. She believed deeply in the value of education and inquiry, in tolerance and open-mindedness, and she had a profound respect for all living things. She lived her life according to those values and taught the rest of us by her example.

An avid reader and life-long learner, Blanche regularly took classes in a variety of subjects, and she was also a bookseller, book collector and published writer of plays, essays, stories and poems.

She was enthusiastically committed to women’s rights, human rights, pacifism and environmental causes, and worked as an activist for peace, civil rights, and ecology movements for most of her life.

Her many other interests and areas of study include geology and paleontology (she accumulated a large personal collection of rocks and fossils over the years), languages (including French, Swahili and Spanish), and African cultures.

She loved the arts, music and theatre, and was a devoted fan of the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Her other passions included researching any topic she became interested in, anything that involved books and languages, enjoying the desert landscape, kite flying, and feeding birds and stray cats.

She volunteered her time as a tutor and a guest lecturer in schools where she taught children about African cultures and languages.

She was a wonderful mother and role model to her own seven children and many others as well.

Her children and their spouses are: Peter Clegg (deceased), Corrinne Clegg Hales and John Hales, Jacqueline Clegg Nielson and Jack Stokes, John Clegg, Stephen Clegg, Marian Clegg Biasi and Richard Biasi, and Valerie Clegg Marmon and Gill Marmon.

She has 26 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Besides her children and their families, she is survived by her sister, Rosemary Alder, four brothers, Jesse Cox, Marion Cox (Mary), Azile Cox (Barbara), Kenneth Cox (Marcelle), and long time friend, Kent Parry. She was preceded in death by her son Peter Clegg and her brother Melvin Cox.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Remembrances can be made in the form of a donation to the Blanche Cox Clegg Scholarship fund at Southern Utah University. Address donations to: Blanche Cox Clegg Scholarship Fund, c/o Director of Development Scholarships & Special Projects; Southern Utah University, AD 303; 351 W. University Blvd; Cedar City, UT 84720.

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Story Source: The Spectrum

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