Vera Evelyn Cox Fredrickson was born December 5, 1923 in Joplin, Missouri and passed into eternity with her Lord on July 24, 2021. She was the beloved wife of the late O.F. Fredrickson, Jr., “Mom” to Sandy and Deetz Shepherd, Linda and Bob Kneeland, Chris and Melanie Fredrickson, and Terry Fredrickson, “MiMi” to her grandchildren as well as countless other children who loved her, and “GiGi” to her great-grandchildren.
Evelyn was the daughter of Vera Leona Hall Cox and William Emery Cox. From early childhood, she fell in love with the outdoors, enjoying picnicking, camping, gardening, riding bikes, and activities with Girl Scouts. Evelyn’s family moved to Muskogee and later Vinita, Oklahoma, and finally settled in Dallas, Texas during her high school years, where her parents remained for the rest of their lives. She loved her parents and brother Donald, as well as her extended family. For the course of her entire life, Evelyn deeply valued connection to all her relatives, which she diligently maintained through visits, phone calls, and letters. She always looked forward to holidays when her family would gather.
Evelyn graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and went on to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied chemistry and was a founding member of a spirit club supporting the school football team. After college, she moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she worked as a lab technician during World War II. In Lake Charles, she met Oscar ‘Fred’ Fredrickson, a member of the Army Air Corps and a man she described as “tall, good looking, and a good dancer with an outgoing personality.” Fred and Evelyn dated mostly long distance before their wedding on July 2, 1946 in Dallas. They had four children, Sandy, Linda, Chris and Terry. Fred and Evelyn lived in Chicago, South Bend, and later San Luis Obispo, California while Fred attended California State Polytechnic College. She described his graduation from Cal Poly as well as the birth of each of their children as some of her proudest moments. Fred and Evelyn later settled in Dallas where they built their home of 34 years and raised their family. Later in life, she lived in Austin, Texas.
Evelyn loved to travel and had opportunities to visit countries all over the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Mexico and Spain. She collected fascinating memorabilia from all of these places and loved to display it in her home. She even travelled to China in her 80s for the birth of her great-granddaughter. There were no lengths Evelyn would not travel for family.
Evelyn had many activities she enjoyed. She worked hours in her yard every week to keep it trimmed, beautiful, and full of a variety of flowers and trees. She could name almost any tree or plant she spotted and could even tell you what kind of water and sunlight it needed to thrive. If there are flowers in Heaven, we can all delight in knowing she is enjoying them richly. In her memoirs to us who remain on this earth, she wrote, “Take time to smell the roses- recognize and be aware of many beautiful things as you walk through life.” Evelyn truly saw the beauty in God’s world and treasured it- the sunrises, the clouds, the creatures, the plants. She also loved caring for animals and raised many litters of puppies throughout her years. She also raised ducks, two sheep who decided her newly planted shrubs would make a fantastic dinner, and a Shetland pony who also created ‘several disasters.’ It’s no wonder that she always had a canine companion as her favorite pet.
Evelyn had an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong work ethic. Her mother sold Avon cosmetics for many years, and when her child-raising years were finished, Evelyn began her own business as well. Though her efforts to sell “Diet Cookies” did not lead to exponential sales (perhaps it was because she didn’t appear to need to be on a diet), Evelyn later turned to crafting, which she loved. She created seashell magnets as well as invented a unique decorative glass bulb filled with colored water, an idea from her early years of working in the laboratory in Lake Charles. She branded the bulbs as “Texas Rainbow Drops” and lovingly gave them to many friends and family, as well as sold them in craft malls.
Another one of Evelyn’s great loves was children. At age 68, she began babysitting for many families in addition to her own grandchildren. She always arrived with a bag of fun activities, music, and games, and the children she watched adored it when “Mimi” came over. In an era when many believed that children were meant to be ‘seen and not heard,’ Evelyn saw them more like Jesus as described in Luke 18:16: ‘But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” She delighted in children- their successes, their growth, their achievements. In fact, when asked what she liked best about being a grandparent, she wrote, “Seeing them develop as individual personalities and acquire more skills is sort of like seeing flowers unfold and reach toward full bloom.”
Evelyn described her most important lessons she learned in life to be the value of friends and the value of being a friend. She loved the song, “Make new friends. Keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” She treasured the importance of morals, dependability, and honesty. She strongly believed in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. She embodied these values every day, constantly looking for ways to serve the people she loved in every season of her life. Even after her mind became affected by dementia, the sweetness of her words and her spirit was truly an inspiration to us all.
Evelyn is preceded in death by her husband Oscar "Fred" Fredrickson, her brother Donald Emery Cox and her parents Vera Leona Cox and William Emery Cox. Evelyn is survived by her children and their spouses, Sandy and Deetz Shepherd, Linda and Bob Kneeland, Chris and Melanie Fredrickson, and Terry Fredrickson. She is also survived by all of those who call her Mimi: including Kyla and Tom, Christi and Jon, Shelly and Kendall, Given, Chrissy and Kris, Ben, Heather and Brandon. Still more call her Gigi: Caeden, Landen, Preston, Mason, Sarah, Abigail, Adam, Ike, Jed, Liberty, Zeke, Kate, and Hailey. May she rejoice in the presence of Jesus, and we look forward to seeing her again one day.
In lieu of flowers or planting a tree, the family request memorials be sent to the care home that loved her for 5 years,
Tran’s Senior Oasis
2304 Live Oak Circle
Round Rock, TX 78681
The yearly Alzheimer’s Walk in Dallas with the beloved David McDavid family who shared years of friendship with mom.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Evelyn (Cox) Fredrickson, please visit our floral store.