Lisa Kochanowski
Assistant Editor/Reporter
August 23, 2023 // Diocese

Deacon Ed Fox Left Lasting Impression

Lisa Kochanowski
Assistant Editor/Reporter

Deacon Edward G. Fox of Fort Wayne, well known in the community for his catering – especially his Ed Fox Fish Fries – died at the age of 57 on Thursday, July 27, at Parkview Randallia Hospital. Known as a kind and gentle spirit, he was devout in his faith, had a genuine passion for being of assistance to others, and was recently ordained a deacon serving at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fort Wayne.

“The happiest I ever saw him was at his ordination to the diaconate,” said Father Andrew Budzinski, Pastor at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend, who previously served at St. John the Baptist. “Ed talked about the possibility of becoming a permanent deacon years ago. He loved the formation he received as he discerned this vocation, as well as the fraternity he shared with the other deacon candidates. He truly had a servant’s heart and was so incredibly kind to, and patient with, everyone he met. You could tell by his joy that to be configured to Christ the Servant through the Sacrament of Holy Orders meant the world to him,” said Budzinski.

Photos provided by St. John the Baptist, Fort Wayne
Father Andrew Budzinski, Pastor of St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend and former Pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fort Wayne, poses with Deacon Ed Fox at the ordination of Deacon Fox to the diaconate on January 7, 2023, at St. Pius X in Granger.

In 2014, Deacon Fox was preceded in death by Kathy (Emenhiser) Fox, his wife of 22 years, and in 2016 by his father, Gene Fox. Deacon Fox is survived by his mother, Norma Fox of New Haven; son, Braden (Ali) Turner of Naperville, Illinois; and grandchildren, Lucy and Zoey Turner; sister, Rose (Ben) Passino of Maumee, Ohio; brother, Joe (Karen) Fox of New Haven; and several nieces and nephews.

“Deacon Ed embodied the ‘accompaniment’ urged by Pope Francis,” Father Budzinski said. “He was never in a hurry to get tasks done at the expense of giving people individual time and attention. This was particularly noticeable in his role of funeral minister at St. John the Baptist. Deacon Ed worked previously as a funeral director, as did his late wife, Kathy; and his experience was evident in the compassion he showed to grieving family members. Families always said how kind and empathetic he was. They were delighted to be served by Deacon Ed.”  Seminarian Michael Hickey, a student at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, knew Deacon Fox for around 10 years. The former altar server at St. John’s in Fort Wayne said some of his fondest memories were the after-Mass homilies Deacon Fox would share with him and his brother, Johnathan, who is also a seminarian for the diocese.

“After the weekend Masses, we would take time (usually an hour or so) in the sacristy chatting about everything and anything,” Hickey said. “After we were finished, John and I would say, ‘There’s a homily in there somewhere,’ and he would laugh. Little did I know that these talks would help me in my encounters with people and with seminary papers. I will greatly miss these after-Mass talks with him,” Hickey said.

Seminarians Johnathan Hickey, left, and Michael Hickey, right, pose with Deadon Ed Fox at the ordination of Deacon Fox to the diaconate on January 7, 2023, at St. Pius X in Granger.

Deacon Fox was instrumental in the seminary journey for John and Michael Hickey. He wrote a reference letter for seminary for each of them.

“I remember one of our more recent talks where John and I got to share with him how much he has impacted our lives and time in seminary, and we shared a hug – a moment I will always cherish. He was a man with a big heart for all of God’s people,” Hickey said.

Karen Glotzbach, Secretary and Pastoral Associate at St. John the Baptist, met Deacon Fox when she started working at the parish in June of 2020.

“I could tell he was one of the most special individuals I would ever have the privilege to work with in my life,” Glotzbach said. “His patience was unmatched, and his ability to view the world with the kindness and compassion our faith calls us to was a rarity. Some of my favorite memories of Deacon Ed were the times we had to stuff envelopes or bulletins with flyers and had extended time to talk about life and faith. On multiple occasions, he would follow up days later about a situation we’d talked about to ask if it had gotten better and that he’d been praying for it. Somehow, those situations were always the ones that seemed to turn out the best. I have no doubt it was in part due to Deacon Ed’s intercession,” Glotzbach said.

Watching his interactions with others is something Glotzbach will deeply miss.

“He handled funeral coordination at the parish and helped so many families experience the warmth of faith through their darkest times,” she said. “Whether it was in the office, at these funeral meetings, or after Mass, he made everyone smile. He is truly one of the most kind and special individuals I have ever known.”

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