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'There will never be another Lee Fox'

November 22, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Lee Fox was working for his for community almost until the day he died.  

Many in Berkeley Springs will remember the former Morgan County Sheriff's Deputy Reserves member directing traffic on U.S. 522 or wherever he was needed, day or night. 

He was always ready to help.

On Nov. 11, he died at home under hospice care. He was 79.

He never retired from his volunteer reserve duties, but was planning to in December, Town of Bath Police Chief Craig A. Pearrell said. 

"He had been sick for a while," Pearrell said, but he even worked when he did not feel well. 

"He is irreplaceable," Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh said.

No one else has put in the number of hours serving this community. He gave a lifetime of public service, Shambaugh said. 

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"There will never be another Lee Fox," he said. 

Fox was a police officer with the Town of Bath Police Department for 23 years. He retired from the department in 1986 with the rank of lieutenant, Pearrell said. 

In 1986, he co-founded the Morgan County Sheriff's Deputy Reserves with former Morgan County Sheriff Bill Spitzer.

He led the reserve unit of about 20 people, and he took care of all the administrative duties, including scheduling, equipment and vehicles, he said.  

Fox also served for about 50 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Berkeley Springs Fire Department. 

"Lee Fox was unique. He was a hero, an icon, he was humble and he was a legend," Pearrell said. 

In 1974, when the Washington Hotel was on fire on Washington Street, Fox was getting off work as a police officer. He immediately changed into his role as a firefighter and saved people in the hotel.

"He was a hero," Pearrell said. 

Twenty-five people were rescued from that fire, Pearrell said. His son, Eddie Fox, was also a firefighter during that time. 

Fox was humble about his accomplishments, he said.

"He never talked about what he did as an officer or what he did as a firefighter," Pearrell said.  

"He is the only man I know in Morgan County that spent all the countless hours serving this community. With 47 years in law enforcement plus 50 years in volunteer firefighting, he's an icon," Pearrell said.  

And as a legend, Fox paved the way for every officer in this county "for what we are today. He did it by the book, he knew how to be a good police officer, but he was fair," he said. 

"He was dedicated to this community," Pearrell said.

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