Janice Lenoir Cozort Obituary (1933 – 2022) – Oshkosh, WI

Janice Fay Lenoir Cozort, November 25, 1933 – January 18, 2022. Fay was born in Ferriday, Louisiana, the third of four children, to Leon and Verda Lavendera Lenoir. She attributed many of her pleasant personality traits to her status as a “middle child”. She grew up in Hattiesburg and Gulfport, Mississippi, with experiences during the Great Depression and World War II shaping her childhood. Many happy times were spent with the extended family at Picayune – great Sunday lunches at the Lee farm followed by singing hymns around the piano afterwards.

After graduating from Gulf Park College and Mississippi State College for Women, Fay moved to Houston to teach at Lanier Junior High. As part of the “space race” of the late 1950s, when the United States sought to train more science teachers, she was one of fifty scholars selected by the National Science Foundation to study at the University of Texas. While at UT, she met some brilliant women who became wonderful lifelong friends. She returned to Houston to teach at Jackson Junior High and married fellow educator, William James (Bill) Cozort. They spent five happy years together, fostering two children, Caroline and Will, before Bill’s untimely death in a car accident in 1966. Fay returned to teaching, enjoying many fulfilling years in the science department of the Bellair High School. She had excellent colleagues at Bellaire, many of whom were also dear friends. They pride themselves on providing an excellent educational experience for their students. While continuing to work full time, Fay earned an M.Ed. from the University of Houston. She became assistant director at Bellaire and enjoyed accompanying students on trips to Russia, France and Germany. But the most important sources of pride and joy for Fay were her children, to whom she was fiercely devoted and for whom she maintained a loving and secure home.

During vacations and summers during her children’s youth, they enjoyed visiting family from the Gulf Coast to the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana, and the Cozorts’ farm in Lamar County, Texas. Fay has remained close to Bill’s family – a special gift to his family and children.

After retiring in 1994, Fay enjoyed travelling, playing bridge, exercising with friends at Chancellor, finding treasures at estate sales, and tending to her garden and many plants. She volunteered as a guide in Bayou Bend, gave time to others through the Corpus Christi Catholic Church, and was an officer and active member of Delta Kappa Gamma. She also had a lot of fun being on her swing with a glass of wine while visiting neighbors. “Mi Casa es Su Casa” was his motto; she opened her home several times to friends and family receiving care at the nearby Texas Medical Center. She loved being with her five grandchildren and spending many happy times together, especially beach vacations.

Twenty wonderful years of retirement passed before Fay moved to an assisted living facility in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as most of her fond memories slowly began to fade. Although she had been away from her Houston home for nearly 50 years, Fay made the most of her final years, spending time with her family and remained optimistic until the end.

Fay was preceded in death by her parents; his siblings, Dr. Leon Lenoir, Jr. (Martha Lenoir), Elaine Lenoir Murphy (AG “Pat” Murphy), Larry Lenoir; and her husband Bill. Surviving family members include his children, Dr. Caroline Cozort McDonald (Dr. Robert McDonald) and William James Cozort, Jr. (Sharon McCord Cozort); grandchildren, Patrick Murphy McDonald, Anne Claire McDonald Stacey (Alex Stacey), Michael Hugh McDonald, John Andrew “Jack” Cozort and William McCord Cozort; great-granddaughter, Maria Rose Stacey; in-laws, Roger Cozort, Mary Winslow, Paula Kay Cozort and Judy Lenoir; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. She also leaves to mourn many friends and former students whose lives she marked.

The family’s deepest gratitude goes to the many Angels of Mercy who cared for Fay during her final years at Gabriel’s Villa and Westbrook Manor.

A Memorial Mass will be held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 9900 Stella Link Road in Houston, Texas on Saturday, February 26 at 11:00 a.m. Friends are cordially invited to visit family from 10:00 a.m. A reception will follow at a location to be announced during the service. A private interment will be held at Meadowbrook Cemetery in Paris, Texas. In lieu of flowers, a donation to one of the Bellaire High School Principal’s Scholarships would honor Fay’s life.

“Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Mat 25:23

Myrtle Lee Nelson Scholarship Fund, 515 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 1000, Houston, TX 77027. Payable to “Greater Houston Community Foundation” and please note fund name on check.

David S. McLure Scholarship Fund, 1200 Smith Street, #1400, Houston, TX. 77002. Attention: Barry Adkins

Harlan G. Andrews Scholarship Fund, 5115 Patrick Henry St., Bellaire TX 77401-4905.

Fox City Funeral Home
3026 Jackson Street
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 966-9000

Published by Oshkosh Herald from January 21 to February 20, 2022.

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