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Elaine, 95, of Sun City, AZ, passed away on April 27, 2022. She was born on the family farm in Toivola, MN on September 29, 1926, to Jalmer and Ellen Kero, and was the eldest of five siblings. She graduated from Toivola High School as valedictorian in 1944, and began working as a bookkeeper in Virginia, MN, until her marriage in 1946 to Richard G Fox, and a subsequent move to Cook, MN.
Elaine and Richard owned and operated Fox Hardware in Cook for 25 years, until retirement allowed them time to pursue other interests. They raised three daughters there, and Elaine began a lifelong devotion to her family and her community. She served her First Congregational Church as treasurer for 25 years, taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. One of the highlights during that time was singing in the choir for a Billy Graham crusade team that visited a nearby city. She also served as executive secretary of the Cook Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, 4-H leader, and president of the Women’s Club as well as the American Legion Auxiliary; all this while working 6 days a week at Fox Hardware, making fantastic holiday meals for extended family, and sewing beautiful dresses for herself and her girls.
Elaine and Richard moved to Sun City in 1986, and began a vagabond life on the road each summer in their RV with their beloved beagle, Punky. They saw all 50 states, plus Canada and Mexico, sometimes enjoying trips with the Sun City RV club. Elaine continued serving her new community by serving on various boards and the Women’s Fellowship at her beloved Church of the Palms. Whether writing cards and notes to teenage girls in residential treatment at Mingus Mountain, AZ, or sending donations to animal shelters all over the US, or organizing for the annual rummage sale at church that brought in thousands for the ministry, she always found a way to do “small things with great love”, and her family is forever grateful. She became an expert at cross-stitch during retirement, and provided her children with over 30 years of treasured Christmas ornaments, and other larger masterpieces, which are even more precious now.
In 1998, Elaine and Richard purchased a cozy log cabin on Townline Lake in Longville, MN; there they hosted family and friends during the summer, fished and fed feathered friends, gardened and enjoyed lake life to the fullest. In 2008, they moved to Sunny Shores, a planned community on the shore of Fish Hook Lake in Park Rapids, MN, and continued to enjoy being up north for the summers. Elaine was able to spend her summers there even after the passing of Richard in 2017.
Elaine was predeceased by her parents; her husband of 70 years; her brother Earl Kero; sister Shirley Kero; and brother-in-law Wendell Condra; nephew Bill Swanson and great-nephew Matthew Kero. She is survived by sisters, Joyce Condra, and Beverly Swanson, and sister-in-law Mary Kero; daughters, Kathy (Tim)Mens, and Susan Fox (Glen Johnson), all of Lakeville, MN; and daughter Sharon Fox (Jim Jenkins) of Cave Creek, AZ; grandchildren, Kacey (Andy) Wiberg, Shayna (Zach) Washut, and Matthew and Samuel Fox-Johnson; and great grandchildren, Jaxon, Gavin, Ryder, and Rowan.
We will all miss her steady presence in our lives, her thoughtfulness and example of service to others; her love of all things pastel, the Phoenix Suns, books, crosswords, hamburgers, dogs, and life at “the lake”.
There will be a memorial service in Cook, MN to be announced at a later date. To send condolences to the family please visit www.SunlandMemorial.com.