In Loving Memory of

Raleen Ann Cox

1951 – 2020

Click here for Raleen’s Obituary

Link to her beautiful memorial service.

My eyes filled with tears and my heart broke wide open for her family when I read the post that Mrs Cox had lost her struggle. Yes, at 50 years old she was still Mrs Cox to me and I loved telling everyone she was my second grade teacher. Looking back, I am not so sure she appreciated me telling everyone how old she was.

When Doug asked me if I would like to say anything at her service. I was absolutely honored at the same time, I have struggled to find the right words that really express how much she truly meant and still means to me.

It started out like another typical school year, but little did I know the substitute that walked in my second grade class would forever change my life and hundreds of little lives after mine. I really don’t remember what happened first, my father passing away 4 days after my 8th birthday or Mrs Cox taking the full time position of our new teacher. What I do know, this beautiful guardian angel attended my father’s funeral, took me in under her wing and began her teaching career at Fairview. I remember many recesses inside grading papers, cleaning out storage spaces and helping Raleen. I always thought I was getting to help her, but what I came to realize, she was helping me deal with my grief in my own way. She was always there and knew what to say. She had that smile that would warm you heart, that orneriness that made you laugh, even when you didn’t want to and the best hugs ever! If you have ever had one of her hugs, you know what I mean. I remember every year getting so excited that a holiday or treat day was coming up, because it meant getting to go to her room to see her. The excitement started all over again when I found out my daughter would have her for 6th grade. She retied the year my son would have had her for 6th grade, but she was always checking on him to make sure he was doing ok. She always knew what her kids were up to and if they ever needed her, she did everything she could to be there for them. Rayleen had a passion for teaching and truly cared about her kids.

I remember visiting with Raleen the first time she came in to Starfish Project Foundation, which is an Olathe non-profit that my husband and I founded. She looked at me and said how proud she was of what we were doing and the person I have become. With a big smile on my face I told her, “I have you to thank and would not be the person I am today without you”. It is very important to me that her legacy continue on for many years to come. In honor of Raleen and her family, we have started a program called Raleen’s Kids. If she has ever touched your heart, we invite you to pay it forward with us on her behalf.

Raleen, you will forever have a big spot in my heart and I hope to continue to make you proud.

Forever your second grade student…Joni

Last year Starfish Project Foundation was able to donate 440 toiletry bags to the homeless students in the Olathe School District. This year we would like to donate 500 to start the school year, plus help as needed through out the year. Student bags include: a wash cloth, shampoo, conditioner for the girls, body wash/soap. tooth brush, tooth paste, floss, deodorant, brush/comb. Additional items for older students: razor, shave cream, feminine products for the girls and chap stick. When we have them, additional items when we have them q-tips, file, clippers. Be sure to book mark this sign up, as we will be updating as additional needs come in. All of this in the loving memory of Raleen Cox.

Bags can be made up or individual supplies can be shipped to or dropped of at The Beach, 134B S Clairborne Rd, Olathe, KS 66062. Please call 913-839-8567 to coordinate a drop off time.

  Donations will help provide toiletry bags for kids here in the Olathe community.

We have also created a Sing Up Genius to help with supply collection.

Student Bags Include:
Wash cloth
Body wash/soap
tooth brush
tooth paste
Items included in bags for the older students
shave cream
feminine products
chapstick -when we have it
Additional items when we have them
q-tips, file, clippers -when we have them

Feel free to leave a loving message below for Raleen’s family.