The Life of William N. Fox
William N. Fox, 92, passed from this world on August 9, 2019, to be restored in his eternal home with his Lord after suffering from a stroke.
William was born in March 1927, along with his identical twin brother, Walter N. Fox, at 218 Lenni Street, Kutztown, Pennsylvania. His parents were the late Irvin (Erwin/Irwin) W. Fox and Carrie V. (Nolan) Fox, of German and Irish ancestry respectively. William was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Kutztown.
William, known to his family and friends as Bill, attended school in the Kutztown 1892 Public School Building, graduating in 1944. Bill was an avid reader and loved to learn new things. He daily read two newspapers and kept up with local and national news.
During his early teenage years, Bill was a golf caddy at the Berkleigh Country Club and in his later teen years worked on the construction and maintenance of the golf course and grounds at the Berkleigh Country Club.
After graduating from high school, Bill worked at the Birdsboro Steel Company.
In February 1945, Bill enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve. In April 1945, Bill received the call to report for duty and traveled by train to serve in Shoemaker, California until his discharge in August 1946.
Bill returned to Kutztown and worked at Bethlehem Steel, carpooling back and forth with many of the men from Kutztown who worked at the steel mill.
On December 21, 1957, Bill was married to Dorothy J. Reidenhour at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Kutztown by the Reverend Robert F. Harting.
After their marriage, Bill was offered and accepted a job as a mail carrier at the Kutztown Post Office. For more than 25 years, he hand-delivered mail, mostly walking the entire route until the mailmen were provided mail trucks. Bill especially enjoyed interacting with the townspeople and checking on the elderly people on his mail route. Bill retired from the postal service and was proud to continue paying his union dues to help those who followed him in delivering the mail.
Throughout Bill and Doll’s 61 1⁄2 years of marriage, they enjoyed various activities together. They loved dancing, from waltzes to country line dancing. They traveled to many places on family vacations, escorted tours and cruises. The front porch of their home was often decorated for the holidays. During the growing season, Bill could always be found in his gardens. Passersby could be found gazing into his backyard to see his hand-trimmed topiary bushes and the yard art that he liked to create with found objects. Together, Bill and Doll searched yard sales and auctions for antique Kutztown memorabilia, amassing a large quantity of historic items.
Bill sat on several Kutztown Borough Committees as a way to serve his community.
After his retirement from the Postal Service, Bill took a class in basket weaving and mastered the craft, producing high quality baskets that are treasured by his family and friends. Bill also enjoyed carving walking sticks made from the trunks of sapling trees.
In the 1970s, Bill developed a passion to restore buildings with historical significance. His first project was the purchase of the Neff’s One Room Schoolhouse, south of Kutztown.
During the late 1980s, Bill headed the committee to restore the Kutztown Train Station, contributing not only leadership of the project but also months of physical labor culminating in the dedication of the train station at the 175th Anniversary of Kutztown celebration in 1990.
In 1996, Bill and Doll purchased the Eagle Point One Room Schoolhouse, north of Kutztown. After extensive renovations, Bill restored the schoolhouse to include it’s original chalkboards, window shades, cabinets and school bell. Both the Neff’s Schoolhouse and the Eagle Point Schoolhouse have become popular geocaching sites, visited by people from around the world.
Into his 70s and 80s, Bill remained active in restorations. He was a proud member of the Tuesday Morning Work Crew at the Kutztown Area Historical Society.
Bill found his greatest pleasure in spending time with his family, always offering to help with whatever they needed.
Growing up a child of the Great Depression, Bill’s life was imbued with three principles: To see the potential in all things, the preservation of all that is good, and the restoration of all things that still have value.
If you knew Bill and would like to honor him, we encourage you to choose actions that would celebrate his life. Have faith in your God. Love your family. Be an informed and responsible citizen of your town, country and world. Vote. Help your neighbors. Care for the environment. Serve your community. Include the principles of potential, preservation and restoration in your everyday life and in doing so Bill’s legacy will live on to work towards a better world.
William is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his daughter, Kathy N. (Fox) Kemp, wife of Donald L. (Butch) Kemp, Kutztown; his grandson, Kristopher N. Kemp, husband of Maria A. (Tamayo) Kemp; and his great grandchildren, Bradley A. Kemp and Nicole A. Kemp, Kutztown. He is also survived by his sister, Eleanor (Fox) wife of Richard Kelchner, Kutztown.
William was predeceased by his parents; his identical twin, Walter; brother, Irvin Fox; sisters, Ruth (Fox) Katzenmoyer and Dorothy (Fox) Heinly; and half brother, Warren E. Fox.
During Bill’s last days, he received excellent medical care in the Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest Neuroscience ICU. The Lehigh Valley Hospital OACIS Team provided caring kindness to Bill and his family. The entire staff at the Lehigh Valley Hospice Center at 17th and Chew Streets, Allentown, filled Bill’s last days with compassion, dignity and love. We offer our deepest thanks to all of you who touched our lives in these difficult days.
Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. in Hope Cemetery, Kutztown, with Pastor Adam P. Roberts, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of William Fox may be made to the Kutztown Area Historical Society, P. O. Box 307, Kutztown, PA 19530.
Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.Ludwickfh.com.
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In Sympathy to the Fox family
I always enjoyed seeing Bill and his wife around town. He was such a dynamic and talented person. And, he was deeply invested in the world around him. Bill set an example for all of us. He will be sorely missed. With my deepest sympathy to his beloved wife and to his family, Lisa Ladd-Kidder