Judith (Judy) Rose Fox
July 06, 1933 ‒ October 24, 2018
Judith Rose (Hoffman) Fox, devoted wife and loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at the Liberty Nursing Center of Mansfield, Ohio on Lexington Avenue following an extended illness. She was 85.
Judy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Henrietta (Reta) Meyerson and Benjamin Lewis Hoffman. She grew up in the village of Greenwich, Ohio and attended Oberlin College, Harvard College, and graduated from The Ohio State University, acquiring a Bachelor of Arts Degree with majors in Political Science and English, and completing her degree before her 19th birthday. In addition, she earned graduate credits from Ohio State and Ashland Universities. In many ways, she broke new ground for women. She was engaged from a young age as an activist in local politics, which was her passion, deeply engaged in the local Civil Rights movement, and she was among the first female students, during the post WWII Era, to attend courses at Harvard College.
Judy was a valued and a well-known educator in the Mansfield City School System, as well as at The Ohio State University at Mansfield and at Ashland University, where she worked with students pursuing teaching credentials. She began her career in education at Ranchwood Elementary School, teaching 2nd and 6th grades. She later taught at Appleseed Junior High, Malabar High and Senior High Schools. Judy was a dedicated teacher and touched the lives of thousands of young “Mansfielders” during her more than 24 year career, Mansfield School System graduates who would go on to build their own lives and careers in her beloved community of Mansfield, Ohio and beyond. She cared deeply for her students and nurtured their development so in turn they could reach their full potential. Towards the end of her career, working at OSU and Ashland College, she helped to develop the skills of many new teachers, teachers who were influenced by her passion and commitment to engaging young people in learning, and who are now the new generation of educators and school leaders.
Judy had an insatiable appetite for learning about and understanding the world around her. She was fascinated by history, politics, culture, and art. She came by this naturally, as her cherished mother (Reta van Warmelo) and stepfather (Wybold van Warmelo), were diplomats serving in the United Nations, and they lived and worked on nearly every continent. Her desire to understand the world and its complex and interdependent cultures was passed along to her children and grandchildren, as well as to her many students.
Though barely five feet tall, when observing any injustice – to family, friends, or strangers – Judy could be formidable and would command rapt attention and respect when angry and animated and, most times, those unfortunate miscreants chastised by her daunting intellect would mend their ways, with very little recidivism. This intellectual passion had more benign manifestations as well: she consumed numerous books, newspapers, and magazines every week, enjoying all genres, and every morning would complete the New York Times crossword puzzle in record time, often in under 15 minutes!
While deeply committed to her community and her profession, the great love of her life was her husband of over 62 years, Robert (Bob) Fox. They resided together in Mansfield for all of the years they were married, and in the home they had built together for 60 of those 62 years. Judy greatly enjoyed her yearly trips to Sanibel Island, Florida with husband Bob for their winter getaways and the opportunity to discover rare seashells in her early morning quests.
Judy was an extraordinarily caring person. Even when all was well with her children, grandchildren, friends and students, she would worry about their wellbeing. Her selflessness set an example and has influence all who had the good fortune to know her.
Judy is survived by sons Louis Fox (Berkeley, CA and Bozeman, MT); Mitch Fox (Montreal, Quebec Canada); and four grandchildren: David Fox (Army 2nd Calvary), Sarah Fox (Seattle, WA), Elizabeth Meyer Fox (Montreal, Canada), and Jennifer Fox (Montreal, Canada). She is also survived by her great grandson, Harlem Reyes (Seattle, Washington).
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations in her name be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.