William Gordon Fox, of Northbrook, died peacefully on May 4, 2022. He was 92 years old.
Bill was born on April 20, 1930, in Evanston, to Ruth (née Bartels) and Stuart Fox. He grew up in Wilmette, attending New Trier High School and later Cornell University, where he majored in Economics. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He then served in the US Army as a First Lieutenant, stationed in Germany in the early 1950s.
Bill began his career in sales at the Wallace Press Division of Wallace Business Forms in Chicago, where he was promoted to vice president and general manager. Later he joined Johnson & Quin in Niles, Illinois, as president of that company.
He was proud of the fact that he participated in a rapidly transforming industry. Bill earned a reputation as an early adopter of new technologies within Chicago’s printing and mailing industries – where he pioneered computerized typesetting in the 60s and advanced data processing and laser personalization for variable-data printing in the 70s. He had a unique talent for recognizing new market opportunities – and an enthusiastic management style to motivate his teams to capitalize on those opportunities. Bill was active in the Direct Marketing Association and Printing Industries of America.
Bill and his wife (and best friend) Connie owned a sailboat and cruised throughout the Great Lakes, in fair or foul weather, adventuring with family, friends, and their multiple beloved dogs. This culminated in an extended trip after retirement via the St. Lawrence Seaway and other waterways, along the East Coast and arriving in Maine, where they enjoyed years of sailing on Penobscot Bay and Blue Hill Bay.
Bill was active in the Boy Scouts all his life and earned the distinguished Silver Beaver Award from the Northeast Illinois Council. He enjoyed many wilderness trips with his scouting friends – including canoe trips on Michigan rivers well into his 80s. Bill was also very active in his church, St James the Less, where he was a founding member since the 1960s – having served in a variety of roles over many years – most recently in the church’s The Grove Nursing Center Ministry.
Bill’s positive outlook inspired his family members and all others who knew him. As a younger man he was influenced by Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking – which he attributes to setting him on his course. He believed in reliance on a positive outlook throughout life’s many challenges and was always genuinely optimistic, even during his final days.
Bill is survived by his wife Constance Eberle Fox, his brother John Stuart Fox, son James Fox (Anne), daughter Mary Fox, daughter Gwynne Fox, stepson Robert Mercer, stepson William Mercer, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. He will be missed by all who loved him very much.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00pm on Wednesday, May 11, at St James the Less Episcopal Church in Northfield. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bill’s church or PAWSChicago.org.
Published by Chicago Tribune on May 8, 2022.