Dec. 21, 1934 – March 15, 2016
James E. Fox of the Town of Tonawanda, a Dunlop Tire and Rubber Corp. employee and longtime union representative, died Tuesday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 81.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Fox graduated from McKinley High School and then went to work in the family painting business.
In the 1950s, Mr. Fox started working with Dunlop, milling and mixing in the tire rubber mixing department. He also became active in United Steelworkers Local 135 at Dunlop, earning positions with the support of his fellow workers. His late father, Thomas, also had played key roles in the union at Dunlop.
He began as a union steward and worked his way up to chief steward and division chairman, and served four three-year terms on the executive board of the union, including a stints as vice president and then president in 1986.
During his tenure, Mr. Fox played an instrumental role in bringing a 24/7 operation to Dunlop and helping keep the plant and its jobs in the area. The 24/7 operation created more than 400 jobs.
Mr. Fox also attended many conventions and educational programs for the union. He retired in 1996 after 38 years at the plant.
During his retirement, he remained active in the Retirees Union, serving as treasurer. He also helped organize social events, including golf outings and picnics.
Mr. Fox spent winters in Florida with his wife of 24 years, the former Judy Rott, who died in 2009. He also enjoyed fishing and golf and was considered a handyman in the retirement community, often helping others with home repairs.
Survivors include three daughters, Jamie Medlak, Carole Wagner and Jacqueline Mack; a stepson, David Rott; two stepdaughters, Deborah Clark and Tracey Rott; a brother, Thomas; and seven grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Friday in St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, Town of Tonawanda.