Russell Fox, an well-regarded house painter and longtime member of the Wells-Ogunquit school committee, died Saturday after a four-year fight with cancer. He was 74.

Mr. Fox was remembered this week as a kind and easygoing guy, who loved his family and serving the community.

He was the loving husband of Lillian Fox for 47 years.

They met in Burlington, Massachusetts, where they worked in the same office building. He was a travel agent and she was an administrative assistant at a law firm. Part of her job was to make travel plans for the firm’s lawyers and his office happened to be 300 feet from hers.

“Every Monday, he had a dozen roses delivered to my desk,” she said. “Every Friday, he would get me a porcelain tea cup and saucer for my collection. He was very romantic.”

As the years went on, their lives revolved around family. The couple raised four children. His wife said he was a dedicated father who was involved in every aspect of their lives. He attended their school and athletic events. He was also active in his grandchildren’s lives.

“Even when he was too tired he went,” his wife said. “He didn’t want to miss out on anything. He really pushed himself.”

Mr. Fox was a self-employed painter for more than 30 years. He painted houses in Wells, York, Ogunquit and the Kennebunks. His wife said he had a great reputation in the communities he worked.

“He did very well,” she said. “He always had jobs.”

After work, Mr. Fox enjoyed working in his garden and mowing the lawn. His wife said they liked watching “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” together. She said the moment their programs were over and he left the room.

“He had his own little man corner,” she said, chuckling. “He had a TV, recliner and a couple of chairs for company if they could stand him changing the channels all the time.”

“It’s true,” she said. “We were comfortable giving each other the space.”

Mr. Fox was active in the community. He was a dedicated member of the school committee for the Wells-Ogunquit district for over 20 years. He served stints as board chair and once served on the high school building committee.

Jim Daly, superintendent of the school district, said Mr. Fox had a tremendous impact on the school committee.

“He was an advocate for kids and the community,” Daly said. “He wanted the best for all kids. Anytime someone like Russ passes away, it’s a loss for everyone. Our hearts go out to his family.”

Mr. Fox stepped down from the board around May of 2013, soon after he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. His wife said he received regular chemotherapy treatments and participated in clinical trials.

“He put up a big fight and went through a lot,” she said.

A celebration of his life will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road in Wells. A Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Church on Eldridge Road in Wells.

Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MelanieCreamer

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