Our Sweetheart, Pops, Grumpa, Fuzzy Face, Wrennie, friend, and jokester to the end passed away peacefully due to complications of pneumonia and stroke on Thursday, November 5, 2020, with his wife and children by his side.
He was born on Saturday, December 16, 1950, to Nyle Fox and Hallie Harker Fox in Murray, Utah. He left home at 17 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps; during Vietnam, he was stationed in Pendleton, California as a helicopter mechanic. He later earned his GED from Granger High School. After the war, he became a Disneyland Cast Member as a “greaser”-and every time he went back he would always tell his family stories about his time as a Cast Member and how much he loved working on the rides-especially Pirates of the Caribbean. After his time in California, he returned to Utah and married Lynn Rawley on March 17, 1972, and they welcomed two sons before divorcing a few years later.
He first met his sweetheart Melanie Vander Linden while he was working at Reynolds Trucking, but it wasn’t until their paths crossed again while he was at Intermountain Ready Mix and she was at Linden Construction that their story really began; he recognized her from three trucks back in the weigh line and got her attention with the help of the person in the scale house. They got to know each other while he was between jobs and riding in the jump seat during her 10-hour shifts. Their friendship quickly turned into love and they were married on June 16, 1979. Over the next seven years, they welcomed two sons and two daughters and established their home and family in Taylorsville, Utah, and later moved to St. George, Utah. The only thing that brought him more joy than being a Husband and father was being a Grandpa to his sixteen grandchildren.
He was a hard worker and loved learning. He earned his CDL and worked as a trucker (long and short-haul), earning his million-mile award. He also earned his Welder’s Certificate from Salt Lake Community College and became a Certified ATV Trainer for the State of Utah. While he never settled into a single career, he always found his way back to his roots as a mechanic. He owned “Wren’s Wheels and Cyclery” and “Mountain Bike Outfitters” in the 80’s and 90’s, and “Busted Knuckle Mechanics” in the 2000’s. He rebuilt his 1968 Chevy pickup from the frame up with the help of his two youngest sons in their tiny single-car garage in Taylorsville.
Dad came across as gruff, but once you were with him it didn’t take long to learn he was really a big old softy. He loved to show his affection by teasing, and he had the best laugh that made it easy to know when something really tickled him. A big kid at heart, he loved watching cartoons with his children and grandchildren, Pixar movies (especially Cars and Toy Story), The Muppets (Animal was his favorite), Fraggle Rock, rollercoasters, and Disneyland. He loved being outdoors, animals, mountain biking, fast cars, old trucks, ZZ Top, camping, fishing, car shows, bologna sandwiches, sharp cheese (the sharper, the better!), and puttering around the pond. He also loved ice hockey, curling, and pin trading thanks to his time as a volunteer during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
He is survived by his wife Melanie and children: Cris, Aaron (Avery) of California City, Kristen (Scott) Newman of West Jordan, and Jonathan (Michelle), Casey (Darla), and Jessica (Nathan) Elder of St. George. He is also survived by sixteen grandchildren, his sister Wendy Heaps of Riverton, Daughter-In-Law Danielle Korgenski of Tooele, and his "little buddy" Sprocket. Preceded in death by his parents and older brother Warren.
The family would like to thank, Dr. Williams, Dr. Vine, and the Neurological Care team at the IHC Hospital in St George for their care and expertise. The family would especially like to thank his night nurse Bridget for her compassion and dignified and tender end of life care.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and Dad’s desire to keep things simple, a celebration of life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to The Animal Welfare Institute (https://awionline.org) or the Environmental Defense Fund (https://www.edf.org) in his name.