Cover photo for Joan Box's Obituary
Joan Box Profile Photo
1926 Joan Box 2024

Joan Box

November 17, 1926 — February 8, 2024


Joan Box passed away on Thursday February 8, 2024 at age 97. She was born in Harpenden, Hertfordshire in England, the fourth of a family of eight children. Her father was the statistician and geneticist Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher and her mother was Ruth Eileen Fisher nee Guinness.  She came to the US in 1958, where she met and married George E. P. Box. They moved to Madison in 1960 when George founded the statistics department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. They were married from 1959-1982.  

Joan was remarkable for her clear lively mind and her love of language.  She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in English and an MA in the History of Science. She wrote a biography of her father, "R. A. Fisher, The Life of a Scientist” which was published in 1978.  She worked as a copy editor and volunteered as an ESL instructor. She read on the radio for the blind, was an active member of the Dickens Society, and was a reader at St Andrew's Episcopal church for many years.  She enjoyed word games such as Boggle (unbeatable) and the Guardian crossword puzzle.  She was full of interesting conversation, eager to share her talents and knowledge, gracious and kind.  

She had a large vegetable garden, enjoyed long walks all her life, and ran regularly until the age of 70. 

Joan is survived by three of her sisters, Rose Newsome, and June Posey, who live in England, and by her children, Helen Box in Watertown, WI and Harry C. Box in Cummington, Mass, and 4 grandchildren.  

A service celebrating Joan's life will be held on Saturday March 23 at 1:00 PM at St Andrew's Episcopal church in Madison, with reception/lunch to follow. 


Please share your memories at

Cress Center

6021 University Ave. Madison

(608) 238-8406

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

St Andrews Episcopal Church

1833 Regent Street, Madison, WI 53726

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