Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8). Ralph Fox was a most positive person. He was always ready to commend anyone; he was always appreciative. He worked hard to make lemonade out of lemons. He believed that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).
Ralph Everett Fox was born at home in Fox School District, Mississippi County, Missouri, the last of eight children to John Hascal and Hontas Clay (McQuiston) Fox on February 4, 1934, as the depression was in full swing. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Charleston where he was baptized June 6, 1948. He was active in the youth group there, serving as preacher on Youth Sundays. He was also baritone in the choir, a function he continued at all his church homes.
Ralph first worked his favorite job tending horses: Ralph Carson (Carson Feed & Seed, Charleston, MO) paid him by letting Ralph ride those horses next door. The older he got, the more Ralph talked of Mr. Carson’s kindness to him, and he retained a love of horses, racing, and rodeos his whole life. Ralph worked at Butler Grocery in Charleston from ages 11 to 18, where he learned valuable work and people skills as he delivered groceries all over town. Again, this job was not for money but in trade for groceries to feed the family. After graduating from Charleston High School when his terrible vision kept him out of the Korean War, Ralph worked as accountant for Charleston Auction for 20 years where Mr. Harry Warren, Senior took him under wing – and Joker modeled flying! Those auctions were long Mondays with good fellowship at the end of the day, and the annual trips to Hot Springs for racing season were legendary.
Ralph went on to work for a transportation company building sites across the American West, eventually settling in Oklahoma City where he operated a car dealership (one of his passions). He delighted in putting teenagers of the family into a new Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, or Ferrari whenever they visited. Later, Ralph operated a table-top business and enjoyed the silver and china patterns, particularly assisting brides-to-be; he felt he was continuing Mrs. Young’s (Youngs’s Gift Shop of Charleston) tradition. He finally retired in 2015 after 70 years of working hard.
Ralph moved to Hanna, Missouri, in 2017 to be with his family and was an active member of the St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church. As he faded, he taught us great spiritual lessons of God’s grace, of Christian service, and of making truly important things our priority. He missed his mother and never got used to her absence. Ralph died at home in Hanna, MO, on January 30, 2021, in the arms of his daughter, Diana.
Ralph leaves behind one sister, Martha Evans of Jefferson City, MO; his elder daughter, Lisa Lynn Fox of Jefferson City, MO; daughter Diana (Fox) Bentele and her husband Vic of Hanna, MO; his grandson Benjamin Everett Perkins and his wife Amanda of Lebanon, MO; special nephews and nieces, some of whom he treasured as siblings; and a host of the large Fox family. We will long remember all those great barbecues with homemade ice cream that Ralph made happen for family and friends, and especially his unending kindness and appreciative nature.
A wake will be held at the family home at 29350 Sterling Road, Hanna (rural-Laquey), MO, on Thursday, February 11th from 3 to 8 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Fr. John Groner at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in St. Robert, MO, at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 12, 2021. Face coverings and physical distancing will be observed. Arrangements under the direction of Rolla Cremation and Memorial.
Family and Friends will gather at McMikle Funeral Home in Charleston, MO, at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 13th to process to IOOF Cemetery in Charleston, MO, for Ralph’s burial in the family plot, under direction of McMikle Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left at the sanctuary of St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, left at McMikle Funeral Home or mailed to the family home, 29350 Sterling Road, Laquey, Mo 65534, made in Ralph’s honor to the Altar Society of St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church OR to the Youth Group of First Baptist Church at Charleston.