Janet Trask Cox

August 15, 1941 – March 8, 2022

Janet Trask Cox, 80, passed away on March 8, 2022 after living with Alzheimer’s. Janet, a sheepherder’s daughter, was born to Willard F Trask and Margaret Johnston Trask.

Janet attended Billings Senior High and graduated from the University of Montana in 1963 with degrees in journalism and history and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Post-graduation, Janet was the society editor at the Billings Gazette, where she had the power to decide if you were going to be a one-column or a two-column bride. In 1964 Janet moved to New York City, and, after being turned away from a job at Life Magazine because she refused to learn shorthand, which was not required of her male cohorts, got a job as editor of McCall’s Piece Goods Yarn & Notions Merchandiser for $90 a week.

She married a fellow Montanan, Leslie C Cox, who worked in NYC, and after a short stay in Minneapolis, MN, they moved to Billings, MT. Janet kept her job and commuted quarterly to New York for several years.

Eventually, she rented a one-room office for $25 a month with a J-school friend and opened what became Exclamation Point Advertising. She owned and managed the agency for over twenty years.

After a 25-year career in business journalism and advertising, and their two children grown, Janet and Leslie sold their separate businesses and moved to Port Townsend, WA. Janet began to study fiction writing and was accepted into UW’s Creative Writing Program where she received her MFA in 1996. By graduation, she had a collection of chapters of her book, Pinioned Birds, which was self-published several years later.

Every summer was spent at the cabin on East Rosebud Lake surrounded by cousins. Janet’s happy place was visiting with family and friends on the porch while keeping an eye on the lake with her binoculars. Winters included a trip to Rancho La Puerta for sunshine, yoga and hiking.

Janet is survived by her husband of 55 years, Leslie C Cox of Seattle, WA. Son Adam R Cox (Debora) of Portland, OR, daughter Margaret “Megan” Cox Simmons (Christopher) of Seattle, WA, and her grandchildren Elliot and Rachel “Acacia” Cox and Helen and Ava Simmons.

A natural organic reduction will occur, followed by the planting of trees. In place of a formal service, small gatherings will be planned in the spring and summer.


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