Leon P. FoxJuly 11, 1940 ~ January 4, 2018 (age 77)
Leon Fox was a lifelong resident of San Jose and grew up in the Naglee Park area. He was predeceased by his father Dr. Leon P. Fox, M.D and mother Cleo Odom Fox. Leon was a proud Bellarmine College Preparatory graduate and graduated from Northwestern University as an English major. He went on to teach English at Niles High School in Illinois. In recent years, Leon was able to reconnect with many of his former Niles colleagues and students. Throughout his life, Leon continued to use his exceptional skills as a teacher and mentor with his judicial colleagues, friends and family, whenever they needed him.
Leon proudly served in the Navy flying helicopters and fulfilling his dream of becoming a Navy pilot. His love of flying stayed with him throughout his life and he spoke fondly of his Navy days. In 2012, Leon and his wife Vanessa attended a reunion of his Navy squadron. Leon was able to reconnect with his flying buddies and Vanessa was delighted to meet the people who were such an important part of Leon’s life and history.
Following his medical retirement from the Navy, Leon attended Hastings Law School. He began his legal career as a law clerk with the San Francisco County Superior Court and later an exciting and rewarding career with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. After serving with in the District Attorney’s Office, Leon went into private practice with the law firm of Wylie, Blunt and McBride. Following his time there, he was appointed as a commissioner with the Santa Clara County Superior Court. In 1982, Leon was appointed as a Judge of the Municipal Court of Santa Clara County by Governor Jerry Brown. He served as a Judge of the Municipal and Superior Courts with distinction until his retirement in 2002.
Following his retirement, Leon embarked upon new adventures. He was able to recapture his love of flying by taking trips throughout California with friends who also shared his love of flying. He and Vanessa were able to get away on vacations, play golf and spend time with their friends and family. Leon also enjoyed his time with his Saturday morning breakfast group, his Bellarmine group, Friendly Wednesdays and, of course, Los Pescadores de San Jose. Leon was wickedly smart, fiercely independent, and quite disciplined. He maintained his incredible sense of humor throughout his life.
Leon loved his family. As talented as he was professionally, it was in his personal life that he excelled most. Although he could grumble a time or two when people became overly sentimental, he was deeply committed to making sure that family and friends were happy. He was happiest when those around him were happy.
Leon’s love of mentoring and teaching extended especially to his wife Vanessa when she began her career as a Superior Court judge. Each day she uses something he has taught her. Leon was disciplined and thoughtful when it came to his practice as a judge. He considered it a great honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Santa Clara County. Vanessa will honor his legacy by continuing to strive to embody his very best qualities.
Leon is survived by his beloved wife Judge Vanessa A. Zecher and her daughter Alessandra. Leon and Vanessa cherished their 23 years together and with their extended family and friends who supported and loved them throughout their time together.
His love of his family was exceptional. He is survived by his loving sons, Leon P. Fox, III (Samantha) and John Stephen Anderson Fox (Lea) and grandchildren Audrey, Sabrina and Julia. Leon adored his sisters Nancye (Kent), Judy (Denis) and Jennifer and their families. Leon was predeceased by his sister Pam, with whom he shared a special bond, and his baby brother Stephen. Leon is also survived by his sister-in-law Eryth Zecher (Lt. Col. Ret.) with whom Leon shared a particularly naughty sense of humor.
Vanessa and both families thank the extended circle of friends and caregivers who have supported them throughout. They will be forever grateful for the love, support and care you shown to them. There will be a Celebration of Life for Leon on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the San Jose Country Club. They welcome all who wish to join them to celebrate the life and legacy of a very special man.
In lieu of flowers donations in Judge Fox’s memory may be made to Seasons Hospice, 400 Race Street, Suite 101, San Jose, CA 95116.
400 Race Street, Suite 101, San Jose CA 95116