The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

May 16, 2013

Joseph James 'JJ' Fox

The Daily Star

---- — Joseph James ‘JJ’ Fox

ONEONTA — Joseph James “JJ” Fox, 88, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, May 13, 2013. He passed at the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Aurora, Colo., where he had been a resident since the passing of his wife, Pat Fox, in August 2010.

He was born March 23, 1925, in South Kortright, the ninth child and golden son after seven daughters and an earlier brother who had died as an infant. His parents were James Joseph Fox (formerly Imre Róka) and llona Molnar Fox of Hungary. As a child, he grew up speaking both Hungarian and English.

Joseph James Fox married Patricia Louise Kunkel on Oct. 22, 1949, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oneonta. They were both members of St. Mary’s Parish in Oneonta throughout their lives.

Mr. Fox was drafted and served as a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne near the end of WWII in Japan and for a period shortly after the war. He was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.

Mr. Fox was first a dairy farmer for about 25 years after WWII and proudly called his farm the “Rainbow Valley” farm. After his farming days he worked for the town of Laurens and the New York State Department of Transportation as part of their road crews before eventually retiring.

Those who knew Joe knew he loved to dance, listen to country music, particularly Johnny Cash, watch Western films with actors like John Wayne and wear cowboy boots. Joe loved animals, wildlife and nature. He was especially fond of Dalmatians, Appaloosas and a variety of “blue” cows that he raised. Joe was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He was truly loved and adored by his wife, his seven sisters and his four sister-in-laws, his nieces and nephews, children and grandchild.

Joe Fox is survived by three children, a son, Charles W. Fox and his wife, Teresa, of Aurora, Colo., a daughter, Anne-Marie Fox and her partner, Susan Gerhart of Thornton, Colo., a son, Thomas W. Fox and his wife, Janine of Otego; and one granddaughter, Carrie Ann Fox of Lakewood, Colo. He is also survived by his only living sister, Rose Eriksen of Oneonta; his sister-in-laws, Maureen Kunkel Basquin of California, Jackie Kunkel Gustafson of Arizona and Anita Kunkel Scott of Georgia; as well as a number of very close and wonderful friends, including Henry and Beth Sincewicz, Dean and Barb Erbe, Mr. and Mrs. Olechowski, Robert and Anh Munson (who considered him a second dad), Nancy Keller, (a former neighbor who wrote him weekly the entire time he was at the Colorado VA State Nursing Home); and many, many more. He also is survived by some nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his cherished wife, Patricia L. Fox, after 60 years of marriage in August 2010.

The accompanying photo of him is from 1950, taken in first year of marriage, when he was 25. On the back of the photo in his wife, Pat’s writing it lovingly reads, “My Honey, Joe Fox.”

Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, at Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta. 

The Funeral Mass will be 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Walnut Street, Oneonta.

Burial, with military honors, will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, in Emmons.

Dad was a lover and caretaker of animals. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in loving memory of him to Safe Harbor Lab Rescue, 601 16th St., #C322, Golden, CO, 80401; or the Dalmatian Rescue of Colorado, 6828 Rim Rock Valley Lane, Fort Collins, CO 80526.

Online condolences may be sent to

The Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home at 51 Dietz St., Oneonta, is serving the family.