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Bill Fox

March 31, 1942 - February 3, 2024

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On Saturday, February 3, 2024, the world lost ‘One of the Good Ones’ when William David “Bill” Fox, age 81, of Rolla, Missouri, was called home by the Lord.  Born March 31st, 1942, in Mineola, NY to Frederick and Jean (Bandler) Fox, he was a young boy when he lost his parents and became a resident of the Ottilie Orphan Home in New York City, where he lived until he left for High School. Bill attended The Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey, graduating in 1960.  In 1964, he received his bachelor’s degree from Tarkio College, where he met the love of his life and wife of 59 years, Bonnie (Naylor) Fox.  Together they raised four children, Kristin, Derek, Shawn, and Brendon.


Bill was a recruiter for Tarkio College, and they lived in Hicksville, New York before settling in Tarkio in 1968 where Bill taught and coached at Tarkio High School. In 1984 they moved to Madison, Connecticut briefly before returning to Missouri and making it their forever home. Bill lived in Higginsville, Tarkio, and finally Rolla. He was a coach and guidance counselor at Santa Fe High School in Alma, Missouri.


Husband, Dad, Papa, Friend, Teacher, Counselor, Advisor, Principal, Coach, are just some of the many hats Bill wore. Family was of paramount importance to Bill. His children blessed him with ten grandchildren aka ‘monkey-bonkeys’ or ‘weasel-beasels’.  Bill loved people and lived according to the quotes he hung on his classroom walls. “Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime” and he most definitely “Never met a man he didn’t like.” Bill was a gifted and respected teacher and coach. He had a way of encouraging and getting the most out of each student and athlete. A devoted servant of God, Bill was a loyal parishioner of the First United Presbyterian Church of Tarkio and was called upon to preach sermons when local churches had a need. He was active in and encouraged his athletes to participate in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.


Bill loved adventure and the outdoors. Summers were spent with family traveling the country, visiting National Parks, camping, cliff jumping, rafting, and swimming in nature wherever allowed (and sometimes where not). He wouldn’t end an ocean swim until lifeguards whistled him in for being too far out. Bill loved gardening, weeding, and even taking care of debris on the golf course (in-between playing and carrying his bag while running to the next hole.)


Bill was small in stature but larger than life, a natural born leader; motivated to do anything he set his mind to while pushing the limits along the way. Impossible was not in his vocabulary, the words no and won’t were merely just a challenge. When told after a devastating accident that he’d never walk again without a limp, “challenge accepted” and an avid marathoner was born.  Bill was a gifted athlete who (annoyingly) excelled at every sport he tried. He played baseball, softball, football, bowled, golfed, wrestled, ran track, and is in the Tarkio College Athletic Hall of Fame for Wrestling, Track, and Coaching. He loved to win and could turn anything into a competition from “race you to” (just about anywhere) to lawn mower races where the grandkids competed to mow the “back 40”.  Put quite simply, he was the GOAT.


Bill was preceded in death by his parents. He leaves behind his loving wife, Bonnie Fox, Rolla; children, Kristin (David) Rhoades, Derek Fox, Shawn Fox, and Brendon (Katie) Fox; grandchildren, Brittiny, Kortney, David, Daniel, Ryan, Ethan, Collin, Audrey, Jack, and Georgia; great grandchildren, Luke and Thea; and nephew, John and niece, Erin.



All memorial services are pending.

Private family inurnment will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Fellowship of Christian Athletes at

Arrangements: Davis Funeral Home, Tarkio.