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Jeremy R. Fox

April 21, 1932 — December 23, 2023



MADISON, WI   Jeremy Richard Fox died peacefully at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 23rd, 2023.  He was born in Madison on April 21st, 1932, the 3rd child of Ruth Johanna (Mueller) and Philip Gorder Fox. 

Jeremy had an idyllic childhood, playing in Forest Hill Cemetery and along the railroad tracks, walking to Randall School, getting a quarter from his mother on Saturdays to take the bus downtown and see a movie with his friends, spending summers at his Uncle Butch and Aunt Erna’s home on the millpond in Waterloo, Wisconsin. 

In 4th grade Jeremy started playing the cello in a beginner’s string quartet.  Playing the cello became a lifelong passion: some of his best times were playing for services at Luther Memorial Church and Church of the Living Christ in Madison. He played in the Madison Symphony Orchestra during his last years at West High School, and later in the Beloit Symphony Orchestra for many years.

After high school, Jeremy went to Cornell University, where he had the privilege and excitement of being on the rowing team. After a year, he returned to Madison where he finished his undergraduate degree majoring in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin.  After graduating in 1954, he joined the US Army.   He was sent to Fort Detrick in Maryland to work at a chemistry laboratory in the Chemical Corps.  After his 2 years were up, he came home, married his 1st wife, Jan Marshall, and they moved to Champaign-Urbana where Jeremy began graduate school, working toward a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois. 

Jeremy received his Ph.D. in 1965 and was hired by Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, as an assistant professor in the chemistry department.  Jeremy and Jan’s only child, Erica, was born there in 1966.

During the years in the U.P., Jeremy continued to play the cello, as well as chess. The three Foxes often visited family and friends in Madison and Champaign and enjoyed weekends at their property called “The Farm” in Ridgeway, Wisconsin, which Jeremy and Jan had purchased in 1964. Jeremy continued to protect that land from development for the rest of his life, a stewardship that his family will continue to honor.  In 1973, the Fox family moved to Monona, Wisconsin, to live in Jan’s family’s house on Lake Monona. While Erica was growing up, Jeremy played tennis and squash, raised honeybees, tapped maple trees to make syrup, and did woodworking projects.

Jeremy continued to play the cello wherever he could, and while attending the Baroque Music Workshop at Milton College, he met a Madison cellist and scientist, Pat McQuiddy.  Jeremy and Jan separated, and he and Pat settled into their house on Virginia Terrace where they lived together for 40 years.  The house has a large living room perfect for playing string quartets and larger groups, and neighbors often enjoyed hearing music pouring out of the windows as they walked by.  Jeremy and Pat hosted an annual New Years Day Music Party for many years where the main event was playing the Mendelssohn Octet.  Jeremy also attended The Clearing Chamber Music Workshop in Door County, Wisconsin for several years, which he enjoyed enormously. Pat and Jeremy both attended Vermont Music and Arts Chamber Music Workshop in Lyndonville, Vermont for 20 years, until Covid struck.  Once the workshop resumed, Jeremy felt he could no longer carry his cello around campus, and they had to give that up. 

Jeremy and Pat traveled often, to China, Europe, the Boundary Waters, New Zealand, and Chicago, where they met their first grand-daughter Isabel in 1999. A second grand-daughter Brett was born when Erica and her husband Mark moved back to Madison, within walking distance of the grandparents, GranDa and Nellie.  Jeremy lived to see both girls graduate from his beloved alma maters Randall Elementary School and West High School and have successful college careers at DePaul University and the University of Washington in Seattle. Isabel earned her Master’s degree in social work at Tulane just days before he died.

Jeremy is survived by his wife Patricia (Pat, Nellie) McQuiddy, his daughter Erica Fox (Mark) Gehrig, his sister Diana (Robert) Ekedahl, his brother Geoffrey (Helen) Fox, his granddaughters Isabel and Brett Gehrig, 3 nephews and 1 niece and their spouses and children.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his 2 siblings Philip G. Fox Jr (Ozzie) and Patricia Ruth Fox who both died while still children, and his beloved Uncle Raymond (Butch) and Aunt Erna Fox, as well as Aunt Lilian (Fox)(John) Hotmar. 

No immediate funeral or celebration of life is planned.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to

The Clearing

PO Box 65

Ellison Bay, WI 54210 


Cress Funeral & Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

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