Joseph Laurence Fox of Denver, Colorado passed away on January 10, 2013 in the company of his dear family and caring Denver Hospice nurses. Preceded in death by his parents, Laurence and Anna (Gately) Fox, sister Peggy (Fox) Marquette and infant son Robert Joseph Fox. He is survived by his loving family including wife Helen (Hardway) Fox, daughter Lori Fox (Tom Downey) and son Michael Fox (Jennifer Fox). He was a beloved grandfather to five grandchildren: Cate, Ella and Meg Downey; and Jillian and Adam Fox. He is also survived by brothers Larry Fox (Jean) and James Fox (Donna); and sisters Nancy (Fox) Berger and Mary (Fox) Wapinsky (Clem). Joe also had numerous nieces and nephews.
Joe was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and grew up as the son of a postal worker. A strong Irish Catholic family of 8, they had more love than money in their happy home. Joe was well known and liked in his hometown and graduated from Pottsville High in 1950. As a young man, he was drafted by the army to serve in the Korean War. He spent two years in Korea and Japan, finishing his service as a sergeant with commendations for meritorious service. His natural intelligence and leadership so impressed his superiors that he was offered the opportunity to go to West Point, which he respectfully declined.
His young adult years took him to California where he met a beautiful, young Helen Hardway. A whirlwind courtship and romance led to a wedding just months after they had met. Though some had their doubts if this fast pairing would stick, he and Helen celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. The young couple adventured across the country working as both beach and ski bums before returning to live in Helen's home town of Pueblo, Colorado. He started his real estate career in Pueblo as one of the first salesmen for the "new" Pueblo West development.
Two children were added to the family, daughter Lori and son Michael. Joe was ahead of his time in being a very hands on, loving and involved father with his children. They were the light of his life and he was always bragging about them to anyone who would listen. He sometimes simply couldn't wait till the end of the school day to see his kids and would pick them up early to take them on special adventures just so that he could spend more time with them. When his children gave him grandchildren, his love and pride multiplied several times over. He cherished the many moments he had with his adored granddaughters and grandson.
He was not only an active father, but also an involved community member in Pueblo. For many years he was a successful real estate broker, but he is most well known for his time as director of marketing at the Villa Pueblo Towers - a senior residence center. He was a caring and compassionate contact for the residents and their families as they helped make decisions for their loved ones. The residents at the facility loved him. He knew everyone well and would always invite someone without loved ones nearby to share his family's Thanksgiving table. He also was a member of many community organizations including the American Heart Association, the Kiwanis, the Sangre De Cristo Arts Center and the Impossible Players, where he performed in many productions. He was one of the original members of the Pueblo Irish Club. Even though his family, work and activities kept him busy, he still found time to join Helen in going to night school, proudly earning their associates degrees from National College.
After retirement, Joe and Helen moved to the Denver area to be closer to their children. Upon settling in Edgewater, Joe ran and was successfully elected to the Edgewater City Council. He greatly enjoyed his time serving his community in this fashion. They later moved to Stapleton so that they could be even closer to their beloved grandchildren. Joe quickly became ensconced in his new neighborhood and especially enjoyed serving as the grand marshal in the annual 4th of July parade in the neighborhood - leading the children with their red, white and blue covered bikes on his scooter. He loved giving tootsie pops to all of the kids who participated. He was also a regular figure in the local schools where he would often be seen at a performance by one of his grandchildren.
Joe also loved politics and the Denver Broncos. He volunteered on numerous campaigns over the years for Al Gore, Ken Salazar, Michael Hancock and Linda Powers, among others. He served as an "intern" to former Speaker of the House, Andrew Romanoff and loved every minute working at the Colorado state capitol. His Broncos brought him two Superbowls and we know that he is still cheering them on to win even more. His other great hobby was fishing and his favorite place in the world was Rainbow Lake, Colorado. His family loves it too and will continue to honor the family tradition of this annual fishing trip complete with s'mores and vicious Pictionary competitions.
Even though Joe's health started to suffer in 1998, he did not let that slow him down over the past 15 years. During this time he rode roller coasters and the Alpine Slide. He went snow tubing and walked the length of the Glenwood Springs pools. Just 6 weeks before his passing he was parasailing in Hawaii. He continued to amaze his doctors with his zest for life.
Joe lived a long and wonderful 80 years. He and Helen had beautiful times together on motorcycles, speedboats, and fishing trips. They travelled together to Ireland, Italy, Paris, England and Hawaii, as well as across the U.S. He sent his two children to college and saw them graduate. He joined them at their weddings and had the opportunity to get to know and love their spouses. He lived to see all five of his grandchildren and they all will have strong and loving memories of him. His keen sense of humor and penchant for practical jokes will live on.
This warm, funny, gregarious and kind man was the center of gravity in most of the rooms he entered. He never saw a stranger and would always make others feel welcome and comfortable. He couldn't walk 2 feet without someone coming over to say, "Hey, Joe!" He will be greatly missed, but all who knew him feel incredibly blessed to have had the chance to have shared any part of his life and journey.
The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, donations are made to Denver Hospice, 501 S. Cherry Street, Suite 700, Denver, Colorado 80246-1328 or www.thedenverhospice.org and St. Dominics Parish, 3053 West 29th Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80211 or www.stdominicdenver.org in Joe's name.