John P. Fox (1916 - 2013)

Obituary
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John P. Fox, Jr.

John Peter Fox, Jr. of Gulf Breeze, Florida, after 96 full years of life, died peacefully on Monday, March 25, 2013. He was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1916, son to the late John P. Fox and Genevieve Katherine Fischer. He is predeceased by his wife, Geraldine "Jerry" Twiford Fox, and sister Jeanne Fox Brennan.

John will be remembered as an exceptional patriot, a doting father and husband, and a devout Catholic. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1938, he initially applied his B.S. in Commerce as a comptroller and auditor. As WWII approached, however, his focus shifted to the Navy's flight program where he discovered his passion for flying and earned his wings in November of 1941. As a fighter pilot in WWII, he served in the Pacific theatre and became a squadron leader and night fighter. He received two Air Medals for his efforts. He flew over twenty Navy planes during his career (many of which are on display at Pensacola's Naval Flight Museum), and earned many awards, including the Legion of Merit, a Navy Commendation Medal, a Navy Unit Commendation, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation. John attended the Naval Intelligence School and learned French at the Naval Language School, graduating in 1948. He adapted his French to Spanish when he was selected to be the Deputy Naval Attaché in Madrid and became fluent. He met his wife, Geraldine Twiford, on a carrier stop in 1957 when she was teaching English in Osawa, Japan. The first time he saw her, he said "Oh boy, that's for me!" They reconnected in Newport, Rhode Island the following year, as he completed the Naval War College, and were married in May of 1961. John did the first night landing on the Kitty Hawk carrier and served as the "Skipper" (Commanding Officer) of the USS Independence CV62 aircraft carrier from 1966-67. In 1972, Captain John P. Fox retired as the Chief of Staff to Commander Naval Air Training at Pensacola NAS and the family moved to Gulf Breeze. During retirement, he remained active and served on the Gulf Breeze City Council and was instrumental in the building of the new police station. He devoted a great deal of time to family activities, including sailing and water skiing. John was an avid racquet ball player and golfer, and enjoyed working in the yard. He never lost his flair for numbers, spending his retirement years investing. He was a long-time and devoted member of St. Ann's Catholic Church.

John will be deeply missed and remembered by his daughter, Pamela Fox Weber, his son, John Peter "Pete" Fox, III, daughter-in-law Julie Knight Fox, grandson, John Peter "Jack" Fox IV, and granddaughter, Elizabeth Everett Fox.

A memorial ceremony will be celebrated at the small chapel at St. Ann's Catholic Church on Daniel Drive, at 11AM on April 27, 2013, with a lunch reception to follow. All friends of the Fox family are welcome to attend and honor John's life. John and his wife Jerry will be interned together at Ft. Barrancus, Pensacola NAS, in the Colum burial. In lieu of flowers, please remember how much he loved to fly and donate in his honor to the National Flight Academy, 1 Fetterman Way, NAS Pensacola 32508 www.nationalflightacademy.com, 850-458-7836 or 877-552-3632.

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Published in Pensacola News Journal on Apr. 23, 2013
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