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Dr. Lay M. Fox

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Dr. Lay M. Fox Cardiologist, Navy Captain, Firefighter Lay was born on September 2, 1924 in Barnesboro, Pennsylvania to Joseph Mickle Fox and Ruth Martin Fox. He attended high school at Harrisburg Academy where he played on the baseball team and graduated as Valedictorian. He attended Princeton University in 1942, transferring to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1943. He met the love of his life, Jean Selby, while he was in Medical School at Johns Hopkins and she was attending Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. They married in Baltimore in 1947. Following his internship at Union Memorial and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he went into private practice with his uncle Dr. Lay Martin. In 1953, Lay joined the army and was reassigned shortly thereafter to the navy, because they needed more physicians in the Navy at that time. He rose to the rank of Captain in his 21 years in the Navy and he was stationed in Baltimore Maryland, Corona California, Chelsea Massachusetts, Bethesda Navy Medical Center in Maryland (where he was Chief of Medicine), at the White House during President Lyndon Johnsons presidency, and at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (as Chief of Medicine), where he retired from active duty. While serving as Chief of Medicine at Bethesda Naval Hospital, President Lyndon Johnson had his gall bladder surgery there. Shortly thereafter, he was called to a meeting with the Surgeon General where he was told the White House had requested he be assigned to the White House as a cardiologist (given Johnson's history of heart problems). Serving at the White House he traveled frequently with the President on foreign head of state trips and had the opportunity to travel to the President's ranch in Texas. It was during these trips that Lay became familiar with the Texas Hill Country. Lay considered Admiral Rickover (father of the nuclear navy) a personal friend. Through that friendship he was invited to participate in the initial sea trials of the first nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Flying Fish. After his retirement from the Navy, he moved back to Wheaton Maryland, where he worked at Georgetown University Hospital and served as medical Director at DC General Hospital. He continued his career at Georgetown University where he was Director of the Heart Station and worked in the Cardiology and Nuclear Cardiology Divisions until his retirement in 1997. When his beloved wife, Jean, died in 1997, Lay decided to relocate to Burnet, Texas. Lay designed and built a home on Lake Buchanan where it could serve as a family vacation spot for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He continued as an avid fitness enthusiast, swimming in the lake, riding his bike, running, hiking and he joined Galloway Hammond Recreation center where he met many new friends. With his interest in service, Lay also joined the East Lake Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department, where he was active for several years, serving briefly as President as he guided them through the process of designation as Emergency Service District in Burnet County. Lay has many friends in the Burnet area, where he delighted in telling stories of his life adventures- and more particularly of his children and grandchildren. Lay was proud of his service and his accomplishments, but his greatest source of pride was his family. Lay and Jay had six children, Lay C. Fox, Catherine (Kitty) Fox Hessler, Dr. Peter T. Fox, Dr. Emily W. Fox, Dr. Andrew M. Fox and Dr. James M. Fox. He has 14 grandchildren and 5 great-granchildren (with one on the way). His children are spread around the world, with his oldest, Chris, in Truro, Australia; Kitty in Burnet and Austin, Texas, Peter in San Antonio, Texas, Emily in Gaithersburg, Maryland; Andrew in Maui, Hawaii, and Jim in Traverse City, Michigan. He also has an older brother Joe in Lafayette, California and two younger sisters, Margaret Rawls in Lexington, Massachusetts, and Anne Fox in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Lay will be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery where he will join his wife Jean for eternity. A memorial service will be planned at that time. Services entrusted to Providence-Jones Family Funeral Home, Elgin, Tx.


Published in Austin American-Statesman on Apr. 26, 2012
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