Mary Jane Cox was born on November 23, 1953, in Sumter, South Carolina, to Minnie Lou and Page Albert Sparks. She passed away on May 6, 2015, in Clinton, Oklahoma, at the age of 61 years, five months and 13 days. Mary grew up moving around the United States while her father was in the U.S. Air Force. She spent her high school years in Lawton, Oklahoma, graduating from Lawton Eisenhower in 1972. After graduation, she began attending college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University where she met, and was eventually married to, Terry Dean Cox in Dill City, Oklahoma, on February 3, 1973. Mary and Terry made their home in Dill City, Oklahoma, where she ran a childcare service and was a stay-at-home mother until her children began school. She began working for Burns Flat schools as a paraprofessional working with children with special needs. In 2001, Mary returned to Southwestern Oklahoma State University where she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting in 2004.