Apr 10th 1921 - Dec 12th 2010
It was clear to see by the life Marie Fox lived each day that her steadfast faith was the foundation on which she based her every thought, word, and deed. She was a loving wife, devoted mother, and very involved grandmother who was in many ways, the glue that held her family together. Although the conservative beliefs her parents instilled within her as a child were her constant companion, Marie mastered the concept of being able to laugh at herself a little, too. A true gift in every sense of the word, Marie will be deeply missed.
During the vibrant decade known as the “Roaring Twenties,” there was great reason to celebrate in the family of Alois and Elizabeth (Solner) Rehmann since it was on April 10, 1921, that they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Marie. Born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Austrian immigrants, Marie was the second of five children in her family. Her father managed a clothing store while her mother managed the home. Since the clothing industry suffered a great deal during the Great Depression, Marie’s parents, like so many other Americans, did what they needed to survive. When Marie was fifteen, her father moved his family to St. Johns where he purchased a clothing store that became Rehmann’s Clothing. Since it was a very difficult time to start a new business, both of Marie’s parents worked late into the night as a tailor and a seamstress in order to earn the extra money they needed to make ends meet.
For her education, Marie attended Zilwaukee schools through junior high. When they moved to St. Johns, she needed to start all over again in a new town during what is most often considered to be a trying time in the lives of most young people – adolescence. Marie attended local schools in St. Johns and graduated from St. Johns High School.
It was while working in her father’s clothing store that Marie was introduced to the young man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Mark Fox, and he was a friend of her brother’s from Fowler. Marie’s brother asked if she would go to a movie with him and Mark, but she declined – at least until Mark asked her himself. From that point forward, the love story between Marie and Mark grew and the couple couldn’t seem to get enough of one another. They regularly went to movies in St. Johns and dances at the Knights of Columbus in Fowler. Their blossoming romance was soon interrupted, however, when Mark was drafted into the Army and was stationed in Sherman, Texas. Marie did make the trip to visit him there with members of his family, but it was when he was on leave that he asked her to be his wife. She was more than happy to oblige and when he was home on yet another leave, they made their love official on July 26, 1943.
Marie joined her husband in Texas but when he shipped out for Europe, she took the train back to Michigan. It was nine months later that she gave birth to their first child, although it would be some time before Mark knew anything about his new son.
After he was discharged, Mark was overjoyed to join his wife and son back home and worked for a short time at Rehmann’s. Soon after he was approached to become a partner in the Fox Implement Company in Fowler, they moved to Fowler where Mark worked and Marie was in charge of raising their family that grew to include six children. She fully immersed herself into caring for her children, but her husband always came first. He came home for lunch everyday where he was greeted with a kiss and before walking out the door again, he kissed his sweetheart goodbye.
There was no higher priority in Marie’s life than her family. The kitchen was Marie’s domain in the Fox home and her cooking, especially her baking, was out of this world with pies that were second to none. They always had a large garden that Marie tended to, and she also canned much of the yield. She instilled within her children the Catholic faith she treasured, and they were on their knees praying the Rosary everyday as a family. The Fox family vacationed every May at Grandpa Rehmann’s cabin on Houghton Lake and every Fourth of July was spent at her sister’s house on Lake Michigan. They took trips around the country, enjoyed Sunday afternoon picnics, and Sunday evenings with Marie’s extended family. The Fox home was the hangout for the neighborhood children who became known as the “Elm Street Gang.” With the birth of her great-granddaughter, Marie was delighted to see the circle of life include a fourth generation and like any mother, she never stopped worrying about her family.
Although much of her time was spent caring for her family, Marie had other interests as well. She was very active in her church, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, mainly with their social and outreach ministries. When her children were a bit older, Marie went back to work as a bookkeeper at Rehmann’s for many years and whenever she went out, she was always impeccably dressed. She loved flower gardening, shopping, and spending winters with Mark in Mesa, Arizona later in life. Marie crocheted afghans for each of her grandchildren and even for her great-granddaughter, too.
Marie Fox spent her days focusing on those around her as she was genuinely interested in everyone whether her family, her friends, or her neighbors. She basked in the love of her Lord, and it was her faith that sustained her during the dark days following the death of her beloved daughter, Marilyn. Blessed with the gift of hospitality, everyone was always welcome in Marie’s home no matter their age and the relationships Marie made were forever. She will be dearly missed for her smile, her sweet spirit, and her concern for those around her. The family she cherished will continue to carry on her timeless legacy of unconditional love and compassion for others.
Marie A. Fox died on December 12, 2010. Marie’s family includes her husband, Mark; children, Donald Fox, Robert Fox, Dianne (Pat Mullins) Fox, Beth (Terry) Kret, and Michael Fox; grandchildren, Nicole (Oliver) Adams-Kraus, Amy and Sara Adams, Mark Fox, Joseph and Ann Mullins, Marcus, Jennifer and Andrew Kret; great-granddaughter, Stella Marilyn Kraus; and many nieces and nephews. Marie was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Marilyn (Fox) Adams; sisters, Dorothy Wieber and Eleanor Hammond; and brothers, John and Norbert Rehmann. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, December 16, 2010, at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fowler with Fr. Dennis Howard presiding and internment at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery following the Mass. The family will receive friends 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday with rosaries being prayed at 3 and 8, at the Goerge Chapel of Osgood Funeral Homes in Fowler. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory or make a contribution to the Mark and Marie Fox Scholarship Fund, Sparrow Hospice or the Most Holy Trinity Educational Trust Fund.