Daniel James Fox Sr.

Daniel James Fox

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” – Yogi Berra

Surrounded by his loving family, Daniel James “Jim” Fox, a true “hard-headed German” and life-long fan of the Yankees and Yogi Berra, passed away on March 3rd, 2018 at the age of 79. He is preceded in death by his two sisters, Karen Axon, Lorraine “Ellen” Root, and his parents. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jerrie Fox, three children, 4 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild, and hundreds of young lives he has touched as coach, mentor and Sunday school teacher.

Born on September 21st, 1938 in Winona, Washington to Albert and Norva Fox, Dan was exposed early to the ideals that would form and shape his philosophy: be true to your word, work hard and don’t be dependent, live, love and laugh often, place your faith in the Lord.

In his early life he attended a one-room K-8 school house in Hay, Washington. In later years, Dan was always happy to play the self-deprecating, amiable clown but in reality, he was an extremely intelligent man. He was always proud of being able to “skip” two grades, moving him up two desk rows, and graduate from Endicott High School in 1955. In high school, Dan was a dedicated and exceptional athlete. His freshman year he purchased his letterman sweater and specifically ordered “three stripes” to be placed on the sleeve, indicating that he lettered in three different sports. At the time he was questioned about it as he had not yet accomplished that feat. In typical fashion, Dan told them not to worry about it and to (insert firm Dan voice here) put three stripes on the sleeve. Dan went on to letter in football, basketball and baseball but it is baseball that was his calling as a very promising catcher, even being recruited by Coach Bobo Brayton to WSU. Graduating at the age of 16 ultimately placed college out of reach. One of his greatest regrets was that of not being able to attend college. A life-long learner, Dan continued to earn college credit when and where he could, even working for H&R Block during tax season for what appeared to his family to be for the pure joy of it. The man loved and had an aptitude for math.

At seventeen, Dan enlisted into the Marine Corp and served his country honorably from 1957-1963. He has many fond memories of his time stationed in Japan and Barstow, California and was very proud to be referred to as a “jarhead.” Semper Fi!

In 1964, Dan met the love of his life at the National Bank of Commerce in Kirkland, Washington. After a whirl-wind courtship, they were married in a small service at Faith Lutheran Church in Redmond on New Year’s Eve. At the time he felt, “nervous, scared and then peaceful. Prideful that I could have been so lucky.” His most vivid memory of the wedding, “It was beautifully simple and surprisingly relaxed.” He fondly remembered, “being unaware of how much I should donate to the preacher” and “being unsure of all that lay ahead.” When asked about their first fight as a couple, Dan’s response, “Has long since been forgotten. Had to be a silly point, nothing major, and something I did.”

The newlyweds settled in Junction City, Oregon; moving to Portland a few years later. This was a very fun time full of great memories for Dan and Jerrie including friends, Scandinavian Days, and being active in the JC’s (Junior Chamber of Commerce). During this time Dan worked for Capital Finance. After leaving Portland and Capital Finance behind in 1972, Dan vowed to never wear a tie again. A vow he kept the rest of his life with one singular exception – he wore a tie to his youngest daughter’s wedding.

During the late 1960’s to early 1970’s Dan and Jerrie had three children, Stacy, DJ and Sheri. After moving to Redmond in 1972, Dan began working as a painter for the Lake Washington School District from which he retired after 25 years. Working long hours, and often two jobs, Dan was a hands-on, dedicated father who was very involved with his children. When not coaching football, softball or soccer, umpiring a game, volunteering for other little league activities, he was the loudest, booming, cheering, voice in the stands. In his retirement years, he remained the biggest supporter of his grandchildren, nieces, nephews and numerous extended family members.

His entire life Dan enjoyed exploring new places and that did not change in retirement. He spent a great deal of time RVing, camping and travelling with family. His hobbies included gardening, crossword puzzles, and keeping in touch with family and friends with weekly phone calls and outreach via Facebook.

A long-time prankster, Dan found great joy in a good joke. Although officially his cause of death is attributed to lung cancer and complications associated with his long-fought battle, he would probably say that the ultimate cause was his own self-diagnosed “Rare Furniture Disease”… whereby “More of his chest was falling into his drawers every day.”

A memorial service is scheduled for 1:30 PM Saturday April, 7th at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland, with a reception to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Dan’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at http://secure.seattlecca.org/ or Evergreen Health Foundation at https://www.evergreenhealthfoundation.com/ . The family would like to thank everyone for their efforts, care and dedication.


7 Responses to “Daniel James Fox Sr.”

  • Vicki Biggs says:

    I am so blessed to have become friends with the entire Fox family. Dan and Jerrie welcomed me into their lives without hesitation and I truly enjoyed every minute I have spent with them. Dan, you are missed but will NEVER be forgotten. Love to you all.

  • Annemarie Gestner says:

    Uncle Dan-

    I will miss your hugs, your smile, and your laugh. Thank you and Aunt Jerry for the many childhood memories you helped to create with my amazing cousins. I know you continue to surround us with your love and will continue to cheer us on. All my love to Aunt Jerry, Stacy, DJ, and Sheri. My thought, prayers, and support are with you. I love you all.


  • Lamar and Judy says:

    For a Marine, Dan was a down right good man. A loving father, good coach, great with kids, and very, very giving. He raised a good family, Stacy, DJ, and Shari. Jerry picked a winner with Dan that turned out to be a long and loving bond. Dan will be missed, especially by the grand kids. Rolling around the floor and just making them laugh and enjoy life. Dan—Semper fi.

    Love to Jerry, Stacy, DJ, and Sheri.

    Lamar and Judy

  • Sherry Sayles Varkonyi says:

    Always an encourager! I think that big, booming voice in heaven has probably got some folks “all shook up” He’s left a big hole in our hearts, that’s for certain. Blessings and prayers to Jerrie, the kids and grands. Love you guys! Sherry

  • Donna Sayles-Lundy says:

    Very Awesome write up honoring a Great Man. We’re glad we got to know Jerrie & Dan/Jim at later years of both our lives–as us “Sayles” family cousins got together! Blessings to Jerrie & the entire family..our thots will be with you, across the miles, tomorrow. XO~The Lundy family (Donna Sayles-Lundy) 😉

  • Mike and Carol (Sayles) Rydbom says:

    Even though we are unable to be with you at the service, please know that we are there “in spirit” and are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings to each of you – – Jerrie, kids and grand kids!
    With much love, Carol and Mike

  • Julie Ballinger says:

    Oh Dan, how you will be missed. I am so happy our friendship extended past LWSD. Your “Check in” phone calls were so appreciated. I hope you have met up with Bud now, enjoying a few cocktails and reminiscing the good ol days!!!
    I am sorry I am unable to be at the service and CELEBRATE Dan’s life, but I am there in spirit and sending love and prayers of comfort to Jerrie and family.
    With love, Julie

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