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Earl R. Fox

Earl R. Fox passed away Sunday, his 94th birthday.  He was born at Fort Eustis on Sept. 23, 1919 to Nellie Sweet Fox of New Kent County and Lt. Col. Earl Judson Fox, USA.  He was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Reba Booker Fox.

Earl graduated from the University of Richmond in 1941 and while there served as class president for two years and quarterback of their football team.  Commissioned in the Navy, he served aboard PT boats, commanding PT 22 in the battles of Midway and Aleutians; then going to the South Pacific with PT 349 near New Guinea.  In 1943, he transferred to the submarine service aboard the USS Bang in the South Pacific and China Sea.  For his action in combat, he was awarded the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars.  He left active duty for the Naval Reserve and completed medical school at Medical College of Virginia.  He moved his family to St. Petersburg, Fla. and practiced rheumatology and general medicine for 23 years.  Because of his naval and medical background, he was asked to join the Coast Guard.  Granted an age waiver at 55, he completed helicopter school and became a flight surgeon.  He retired at 80 in November, 1999, honored by President Clinton at Arlington Veteran’s Day Cemetery as the last World War II veteran on active duty.

In retirement, he moved between homes in St. Petersburg, Fla. and South Boston, VA until moving to Westminster Canterbury in Lynchburg, where he was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church.  Among many activities he was Commodore of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and recently received his 55 year certificate from the Masonic Order.

Earl Russell Fox is survived by his two brothers, Mr. Jack G. Fox and the Honorable James J. Fox, both of Richmond; three sons, Dr. Parham R. Fox and wife Patty of Lynchburg, Mr. Thomas B. Fox and wife Patty of Stuart, Fla., and Mr. Earl N. Fox and wife Kelly of Hope Mills, N.C.; six grandchildren, Jennifer Fox Robelo, Jeffrey R. Fox, James P. Fox, Vance J. Fox, Reba L. Fox, and Edna M. Fox; six great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be at Westminster Canterbury on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 pm.  The funeral will be a graveside service with military honors and with the Rev. Diane E. Vie officiating at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Naruna on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at 2 p.m.  

Those wishing to make memorial contributions in lieu of flowers are asked to consider Ebenezer Cemetery Fund, 2818 Railview Road, Gladys, VA 24544.

Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory, Lynchburg (434-237-9424) is assisting the family.  

Condolences may be sent by visiting:  www.tharpfuneralhome.com.