We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Prince George Funeral Service
Roger Frank Hooton Fox
Educator, Intellectual, Athlete, Musician, Family Man
Roger’s life journey began in Bareilly, India on December 21, 1931, and ended peacefully on July 24, 2021, in Hospice House, Prince George, surrounded by his family. Roger, lovingly called Baba, is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marguerite, and his daughters, Jennifer Fox (Michael McPhail) Rachael and Roger, and Pamela Dawson (Allan) Cynthia and Kathryn.
He attended St. Paul’s boarding school in Darjeeling from the ages of 6 to 14 and then completed his last two years in Blundell’s School, Devon, England. He and his sister sailed on the Aquitainia from South Hampton to Halifax and took the train across Canada to meet their parents in Vancouver, an experience he described in the book he wrote for his family called, “Memoirs of a Young Student”. Roger entered the UBC Engineering Faculty in 1948. A series of summer jobs in logging camps and with the BC Forest Service first brought him to the North. Leaving university, he continued to work for the BC Forest Service in the Prince George area and then with BC Rail surveying the line to Fort St. John. During this time Roger and Marguerite met in Dawson Creek and became engaged. In 1958 he returned to UBC to complete a BSc in Physics and a teaching certificate. He moved with his new family to begin his teaching career in Dawson Creek in 1960. Roger not only had a passion for teaching but also for learning, returning to UBC for a Master’s degree in Education in 1969, and a Doctorate in Education in 1981. Roger joined the Canadian International Development Agency and was posted to Nigeria from 1964-1967 with Marguerite, Jennifer and Pamela sharing the adventure. He returned to teach in Quesnel for two years and after receiving his Master’s degree he accepted a position in Prince George at PGSS. Two years later Roger moved to Duchess Park becoming head of the Science Department where he introduced an innovative science lab program. Wanting to inspire teachers, he taught summer courses several years at UVic, and one summer in Fiji. He spent the last year of his teaching career on exchange in Renmark, South Australia, retiring in December of 1988. Roger fostered a spirit of camaraderie and good humour wherever he taught. He is remembered for his positive interactions with teachers and students, and for his pranks. Roger was an active member of the Prince George Central Lions Club for many years. He also served five years on the BC Science Council.
Music was always an important part of Roger’s life and he passed that love on to his children and grandchildren. In his youth he sang in choirs and studied the piano and organ. He later learned the recorder and loved playing Early Music at home, with friends, and in concert. Music filled his home, and he could often be found at the piano or playing the recorder or whisper whistling. He also accompanied Pamela at the Prince George Music Festival. He shared this love with Marguerite, singing together with the ‘Friends of Opera’ and the ‘Prince George Cantata Singers’, and participating in a Music Listening group for more than forty years.
Sports were an integral part of Roger’s life, both participating and watching. In his younger years he played grass hockey, soccer, and tennis. Later he enjoyed racquetball and squash. In retirement he became a golf enthusiast not only playing the game but also making golf clubs. Ever the teacher he was always ready to offer advice and even wrote a book, ‘The Swing’s the Thing’. At 79 he joined the Sports Center faithfully walking the track three days a week. He enjoyed the desk staff, and other walkers he met, always having a new joke to tell. His family loved to accompany him on his 18 laps, sharing stories and memories.
He enjoyed more than 30 years of retirement: travelling with Marguerite in their camper around western Canada visiting family and exploring, spending a few winter months in Hawaii each year, visiting Jennifer in Spain and relatives in Australia, learning to make furniture, and later creating latch hook rugs and wall hangings to give to family and friends.
For over fifty years the family spent many happy times together at the Bowron Lake cabin. He modeled a balance between work and leisure, always making time for a game of crib, offering a lesson about fishing, building a fire, or scanning through & listening to his shortwave radio using a homemade antenna strung up a spruce tree. He also relaxed sitting on the porch smoking his pipe (to keep the bugs away, he said). As spouses and grandchildren were added, he shared his stories with whomever filled the seat next to him.
Roger was a kind and thoughtful man always there to lend a listening ear or a helping hand with love. He would show up randomly with gifts of flowers or treats to those who helped him at the pharmacy, the bank, the Sports Centre and other places. In his later years he began the tradition of giving family gifts on his birthday rather than receiving them and took great care in choosing each present. As dementia progressed, he was even more able to show his kindness and until the very end was always saying thank you and wanting to share whatever he had. We will miss you dearly Baba, but have so many wonderful memories to cherish.
He was a Renaissance man who lived on four continents and in one kingdom.
We wish to thank Violet Hubble for the cheerful, calm companionship she provided during Roger’s last year, Dr. Irina Israt for her compassionate care, the staff of the Emergency Room for keeping him comfortable and allowing the family privacy, and the staff of Hospice House for their respectful and gentle care in his last days. In memoriam donations can be made to the Salvation Army Food Bank or a charity of your choice.