Donna  Cox

Donna M. Cox

1945 - 2023

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Obituary of Donna M. Cox

Donna Cox of Weiser died of pancreatic cancer at home on February 8, 2023, attended by her family. Born Donna Malinda Chambless in Montgomery, AL to Donna Marrison Chambless and Alex D. Chambless, Jr., Donna (known as Malinda to her family) arrived on December 30, 1945.  (And you know her parents were happy about their new tax break.) After graduating from Sidney Lanier High School, Donna went to Troy State University where she majored in art. She put her training to good use in delighting family and friends with homemade, hilarious greeting cards and in designing advertisements as part of her work at LMF Feeds. Later, she worked under her company DCS Design as a freelance digital artist creating ad pages, primarily for businesses related to quarter horses.  Later in life, she began painting again.

Like many children, Donna was absolutely in love with horses. The first time she rode a horse her trainer said to her father, “Alex, she’s a natural! Look at the position she immediately found!” Unlike many kids, as she grew up, that passion continued. She purchased a quarter horse and took up barrel racing. At rodeos she met prominent Idaho quarter horse breeder O. M. (Oliver) Cox and moved with him to Idaho. They married in 1983 during a trip to Las Vegas, and Donna took up her new life working with Oliver to breed and train quarter horses until he became too ill to continue. After his death, she began showing horses in Idaho and Oregon Mountain Trail events.  Donna was also very active in the Treasure Valley Quarter Horse Association and Idaho Quarter Horse Association.


In 2018 Donna married Gary Johnson of Coquille, OR and lived with him in Weiser until his death. They had a once in a lifetime love; you’d have to be blind not to see it.  She is survived by siblings Donald and Dianne Chambless, nieces and nephew Janet Chambless, Leslie Chambless Kearse, and Andrew Chambless from her Alabama family and, from her Idaho family, by her step-granddaughters Nicky Cacciola of Severn, MD and Dana Donahue of Mackay, ID, 9 great grandchildren, her last horse TJ Fox, and her beloved dog and devoted companion Weezie. We will all miss her beauty- Donna was always so very put together with her makeup, her outfits, and her cherished jewelry. Her wild sense of humor was such a joy to so many people. And let’s not forget her tough as nails and feisty inner spirit.   A celebration of her life is planned in wild and scenic Idaho for the Spring. Contributions honoring Donna may be sent to:

CASPR (a 501c3 organization)

540 E. Hanthorn

Weiser, ID 83672

Care of Charlie Prentiss, Animal Rescuer Extraordinaire