Phyllis Ann (Stephens) Cox

November 9, 1943
November 23, 2022

Phyllis Ann Cox, 79, of Hobart, WI, passed away unexpectedly on November 23, 2022.

Phyllis was born in Circle, MT on November 9, 1943, and a few years later, she and her brother were adopted by Ben and Gladys Stephens. She attended school in Eden, MT and Great Falls, MT before graduating from Great Falls Central Catholic High School in 1961. Phyllis went on to attend Montana State University where she was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. She graduated with a Home Economics degree in 1966 and then began her career as a high school Home Economics teacher in Cody, WY.

Years later, Phyllis moved to Havre, MT, where she met Russ Cox. They married in Great Falls, MT in 1976 and relocated to Butte, MT, where Phyllis continued to teach. When Russ retired, they moved to Elko, NV and Phyllis continued her career as a high school special education teacher. She retired in 2011, and in 2012, she moved to Green Bay, WI to be closer to her daughter and family.

Phyllis was a talented seamstress who used to bless her grandchildren with unique and incredible Halloween costumes every fall. She was the family poet, historian, and Christmas goodies baker. She loved to sing and knew all the words to the songs and jingles.

She enjoyed taking classes at UWGB’s Lifelong Learning Institute, doing crossword puzzles, and playing Scrabble – she sure was good at Scrabble!

Phyllis had a big heart and was extremely giving. Family brought great joy to her and she cherished watching her grandchildren grow and attending their activities in Wisconsin. Her family loved her immensely and misses her deeply.

Survivors include her daughter, Stacey (David) Hakes; son Bill (Colleen) Cox; brother, Kenny (Laurena) Stephens; her half-sister, Patti Fennen, and her cousins, Glorine Delk and Diana Frank. In addition, she is survived by her grandchildren, Megan (Scott) Hannan, Aly (Ben) Larson, Ryan Hakes, Andrew Cox; her niece, Nikole Stephens and nephew, Brant Stephens.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, Russ Cox; parents, Ben and Gladys Stephens; grandsons, Michael Cox and Marcus Cox, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A celebration of Phyllis’ life will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 201 44th St. S, Great Falls, MT 59405 on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 11:00 a.m.  Online condolences may be expressed at

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests those who wish to express sympathy consider donating to the American Heart Association or a charity of their choice.