CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Retired Marion County Circuit Judge Fred L. Fox, II, died on Monday, Nov. 27. He was 79.
Judge Fox retired Nov. 30, 2010, after serving 40 years as a circuit judge. He also served briefly on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia; Former Chief Justice Richard Neely appointed Judge Fox to serve on the Supreme Court for a year in 1995 during the illness of the late Justice William T. Brotherton, Jr. Judge Fox also frequently sat as a replacement when justices recused themselves from cases.
A courtroom in the Marion County Courthouse is named in his honor.
Judge Fox’s grandfather, Fred L. Fox, served on the West Virginia Supreme Court from 1937 to 1952.
Judge Fox was born and raised in Sutton. He was a three-sport athlete in high school and played a year of Division I baseball at Washington and Lee University before transferring to Davis and Elkins College. After college, he served in the Marine Corps from 1960 to 1963. He then attended West Virginia University College of Law, opened a law practice in Fairmont, and joined the Marine Reserve. He was recalled to active duty and served eleven months in Vietnam, where he was injured by a mortar and shot in the foot on January 31, 1969. His left leg was badly injured. He received two Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and a Purple Heart.
He returned to Fairmont to practice law and was elected judge in 1970. He was re-elected every eight years thereafter.
Chief Justice Allen H. Loughry said the death Judge Fox is an enormous loss to the court system and his community.
“He was an incredible judge, a strong leader in the judiciary, and an intelligent and kind man. He was for many years the most senior circuit judge in the state, and other judges often called on him for advice. Even after his retirement, he was mentor to many young judges,” Chief Justice Loughry said. “Our entire court family sincerely wishes his family the very best during this difficult time.”
Justice Margaret Workman said, “Fred Fox was an outstanding judge, and it was a pleasure to serve with him on the Supreme Court for one year. His fairness, intelligence and devotion to duty were top-notch. He loved his work, he loved the law, and he loved his family. He was a good friend to me and many others in the judiciary who enjoyed his sense of humor, his insight, and his graciousness. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his many friends.”
Justice Robin Jean Davis said, “I thoroughly enjoyed working with him for the past 20 years. He was a wonderful judge and a wonderful person.”