Charles William Fox
1936 ~ 2015

Charles William Fox, 79, passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his loving wife and family, on Sept. 16, 2015, following a spirited battle with inoperable pancreatic cancer.

We don't want to brag that Charlie was a colorful character, but rainbows were often known to hide their prisms in embarrassment whenever they were in the same vicinity. He lived life to the fullest, did things in his own way and his own time -- and above all treasured his family and personal relationships.

He was born as the first child to goodly parents David Johnson Fox and Ruth Florence O'Connor Fox on Aug. 16, 1936, in Los Angeles (Hollywood), Calif. He was later joined by two siblings, Jesse and Susan.

He was known by various names throughout his life: Among those suitable for print are Charlie (which stuck), Chuck, Charlie Bill, Charlie Tuna (his former CB handle), Bro. Fox and "Hey, Batter, Batter!" His favorite personal titles, however, would unquestionably be Loving Husband, Dad and World's Funniest Grandpa.

Charlie grew up in Los Angeles, attending Los Feliz and Franklin Avenue elementary schools, Thomas Starr King Jr. High, and John Marshall High School, graduating in 1954. During these years he worked in his father's plumbing shop and also as an assistant mechanic in an area auto shop. The latter job sparked a lifelong passion for fixing cars -- beginning with his first, a prized 1939 Buick Century convertible he bought for $100, on which he rebuilt everything at one time or another. In addition to basic auto mechanics, the car taught him a valuable lesson about advance preparation. When Charlie's father was chagrined with his oldest son and wanted to sentence him to home refinement -- which may or may not have been a frequent occurrence -- he would surreptitiously pop the distributor cap on the Buick and remove the rotor, a move which would allow the car to crank, but prevent it from actually starting. With his burgeoning auto acumen, however, Charlie eventually became wise to the tactic and deployed "counterpoint" measures by hiding spare rotors in several unmarked locations, temporarily gaining the upper hand in the ongoing father-teenage son theater of wits.

In the summer of 1955, Charlie -- having just returned to Los Angeles following his first year at BYU, where he majored in hunting and pranks -- was called up out of the audience in his home church ward to give a spontaneous report to the congregation about his freshman year exploits. Responding as only he could, Charlie answered the bell by rattling off a bunch of jokes. His monologue didn't impress one Eleonore Anderson, who had just moved to the area with several friends and was visiting her new ward for the first time that day. Immediately after Charlie's "talk," Eleonore turned to her sister and said, "If I thought I would ever end up marrying that guy, I'd pack up and move back to Utah tomorrow."

You see where this is going, right?

Charlie and Eleonore were married in the Los Angeles LDS Temple on Dec. 21, 1956 -- leading to nearly 59 years of wedded bliss, give or take a few days here or there when Charlie would leave the kitchen sink -- where he loved to wash his hands -- smeared with grease, usually after working on the car of a family member or friend.

Charlie and Eleonore went on to have four children, 23 grandchildren and, at the time of his passing, six great-grandchildren. They raised their children primarily in Burbank and La Crescenta, Calif., before relocating to Eastview Drive in Alpine in 1978 -- where they remained, surrounded not only by family, but also many dear and longtime friends, who no doubt all have a favorite and hilarious Charlie story of their own. (You're thinking of one right now as you read this, aren't you?)

In 1959, Charlie joined the Air Force Reserves, where he served for six years and received electronics training that would become the foundation for his professional career. Charlie -- putting his talent for figuring out what makes things tick to good use -- worked 18 years in California for IBM, where he repaired data processing equipment. Upon moving to Utah, he worked as a computer systems analyst for First Security Bank in Salt Lake City. In 1985 he was asked to develop the bank's first emergency contingency plan and went on to become an expert in the field -- starting the Utah Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP), and also serving as CFO and CEO/President of the National ACP Board. He retired from the bank in 2000, but continued doing consulting in the field for several years.

Charlie was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life. He served in many church positions, but considered his self-appointed primary calling to be Comedic Relief Specialist. He and Eleonore went on three church missions, serving the first in Missouri for two years, then in Martin's Cove, Wyo., for a couple of summers. Charlie was especially in his element at Martin's Cove -- enjoying the outdoors, gaining a greater appreciation for his pioneer heritage and working with around 25,000 youth each summer on trek-related activities.

Charlie was a lifelong participant in sports, starting with baseball and basketball in high school. His passion for athletic competition continued through his adulthood, both as a participant and fan. When he wasn't between the lines himself, you could most likely find him sitting in the stands, surrounded by a circle of spent sunflower seed shells, cheering on his children and grandchildren -- or pulling them aside during breaks in the action to praise the subtleties of their performance, which might have otherwise gone unnoticed except for his penchant to share these observations to anyone within earshot. He especially excelled in softball, where he was a mainstay as an infielder on the senior circuit and logged 25 years as a player in the Huntsman Senior Games. If pancreatic cancer hadn't taken him early, we like to think he would have chosen to die with one foot in the batter's box preparing to swing away -- but only after sharing a laugh with the umpire and opposing catcher.

Charlie was a longtime BYU sports fan, and it is fitting that the last Cougar football play he ever saw was Tanner Mangum's game-ending, 42-yard Hail Mary to Mitch Mathews to shock Nebraska in this year's season opener.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Eleonore, sons Douglas Craig Fox (Jennifer) of Eagle Mountain and Dennis William Fox (Marla) of Cedar Hills; daughters Jennifer Diane Huntsman (Paul) of Alpine and Kristiane Renee Durfey (Ron) of Pleasant Grove; brother Jesse Ellis Fox (Ana) of Burbank, Calif.; sister Susan Kathleen Fauver (Robert) of Sandy; half-brother David Johnson Fox Jr. (Lois) of Los Angeles; and stepmother Eva Desposorio Fox, of Los Angeles; 23 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, September 21, 2015 at 11:00 am at the Alpine 7th LDS Ward Chapel, 890 North Heritage Hills Drive, Alpine, Utah. Family and friends may call on Sunday, September 20, 2015, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Warenski Funeral Home, 1776 North 900 East, American Fork, Utah, and again on Monday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 am at the church prior to services. Charlie will be carried by his grandsons to his temporary resting place in the Alpine City Cemetery.


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