James Edward Fox, 89, of Middleton, MA, died Thursday, November 25, 2021, at home, surrounded by his loving family.
Jim was born on July 22, 1932, in Cleveland, OH and was raised in Erie, PA by his parents James J and Marion (Goetz) Fox.
Jim married his childhood sweetheart, Ruth Ann Veihdeffer, on April 25, 1953. Long-time residents of Andover, MA, they had nine children together, with 18 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Over the course of their marriage, the only thing that came between them was a cribbage board. Even if they weren't speaking, they would play cribbage.
After graduating from Penn St University, Jim began a long, successful career as a stockbroker, working for many prestigious brokerage firms in New York and Boston.
He may have been a stockbroker by profession, but Jim was a farmer at heart, purchasing a farm in New Hampshire, where he grew Christmas trees, fruit trees, and other crops. Later, he continued his love of the land, tending to his bountiful vegetable garden. Jim was also an avid fisherman who loved swapping tall fish tales with his great friend, John Terelak.
Jim's favorite time of year was summer vacations on Cape Cod, where he was known to fire off an errant bottle rocket or two. He loved to hold court on the deck of the beach house in Truro, perched on a bluff above the beach below.
A lover of books, Jim could not pass a bookstore without loading up on tomes as eclectic as Sun Tzu's the Art of War, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Gary Larson's The Far Side, and How to Curse in 15 Languages.
A true eccentric, Jim was unabashed in how he expressed himself and in his pursuit of anything that sparked his curiosity: beekeeping, wine making, apple cider pressing, candle making. He loved history and maps and collecting things.
A man of great intellect (he was a member of MENSA), Jim enjoyed engaging in clever repartee with family and friends. He was known to wield a sharp needle, testing the mettle of those in his circle, but always tempered by his outsized heart and a generous spirit.
In addition to MENSA, Jim was a proud member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of MA and an auxiliary policeman in the town of Andover. He also believed in public service, volunteering his time and expertise to serve on various boards, including the state finance board and the Middleton Board of Appeals. He also once ran for State Representative for the Andover/Lawrence district. Jim was a past board member and honorary life member of the Mother of Good Counsel, Council #1078, Knights of Columbus, Andover, MA.
Jim was predeceased by sons John and Joe. In addition to his wife of 68 years, Ruth Ann, he is survived by son James and his wife Donna of Melrose, MA, daughter Julie Ann and her husband Jim Garrison of Middleton, MA ; son Jay Thomas of Wilmington, MA; son Jerome of Stoneham, MA; son Jeffrey and his wife Bobbi of Natick, MA; son Justin and his wife Sunny of Middleton, MA, son Jason and his wife Jude of Melrose, MA, daughter-in-law Karen of Reading, MA, daughter-in-law Ruth of Natick, MA, and their respective families. He is also survived by his sister Jo Fox of Westport, CT, and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation hours will be held at Mackey Funeral Home in Middleton from 3:00 to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. A funeral mass will be held at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Topsfield, on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 10:30 am. Burial to follow at Oakdale Cemetery in Middleton.
If Desired, donations can be made to St Jude Hospital in Jim’s name
** Masks are required during the Wake, Thank You **
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105