ALBANY – John Austin Fox, 68, of Albany, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 29, 2017, after more than a two-year courageous struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). John was born in Albany, the son of the late John B. Fox and Elinor Austin Fox. He lived in the area all his life. He was a graduate of Cardinal McCloskey High School, where he lettered in basketball and track. He also graduated from Hudson Valley Community College, and was in the first class of males to graduate from the College of Saint Rose in Albany. He served in the Army National Guard for six years. He also taught biology at Vincentian Institute for a year, and then was employed for the rest of his career of 37 years by the New York State Dept. of Health, where he retired as a laboratory center administrator. John was raised spending summers at Saratoga Lake, and always enjoyed the water, the beach, and camping. He also enjoyed photography, especially of family events, and was a part time wedding photographer. He loved sports and played in a number of basketball leagues and senior softball leagues, enjoyed gardening, and was a major animal lover. There was not a dog, cat, horse, bird, or any animal, injured or not, that he did not try to help or befriend. Some describe him as a talented handyman, but actually he was more like a self-taught contractor, known to install a new kitchen or replace the sill plate on his home, all to exacting standards. John was always there to lend a hand to everyone, and loved mentoring people. Recently, he liked to share his big sense of humor, and any helpful experience with others dealing with the disease of ALS.
John is survived by his beloved wife and soulmate, Mary Patricia Breedlove Fox; his devoted siblings Susan Miller (Stewart) of Las Vegas, Nevada; Paula Fox-Murphy of Troy, Edwin Fox (Lora) of Latham, Mary Ellen Macri (John) of Averill Park, Paul E. Fox (Paula) of Loudonville, Elinor McDermott (Tom) of East Greenbush, and Lisa Zarzycki of Rensselaer; also by many sisters and brothers-in-law, and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His faithful companion dog, Mollie, was always by his side.
The family would like to thank Dr. Jeffrey Perkins, and Dr. Roberta Miller, also Elizabeth Hanlon, Denise, and other staff of the Eddy VNA for the wonderful care they provided to John; and also Karen Spinelli, Zach Tonkin, and all the staff of the St. Peter’s Hospital ALS Regional Center for the wonderful care and support they provided to John and his family.
Funeral services will be held in the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., Albany, Monday morning at 9:00, and from there to the Parish of Mater Christi, Hurst Ave. & Hopewell St., Albany at 10:00. Relatives and friends are invited, and may call at the funeral home Sunday from 3-7 p.m. Interment will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Colonie. The family suggests memorial contributions to the St. Peter’s Hospital ALS Regional Center, 19 Warehouse Row, Albany, NY 12205. To leave a message of condolence for the family or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.