Memorial Spaceflights

Wendell James Fox, Jr.

"Jim to the stars... the force is always with you."
1960 - 2024

Wendell James “Jim” Fox Jr. died unexpectedly on January 20, 2024, in Littleton, Colorado.

Jim was born April 21, 1960, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Wendell James Fox Sr. and Mary Margaret Maxey. He graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor in 1978, attended the University of Michigan, and received a B.S. in Statistics in 1982. He’d thought about majoring in Astronomy because he was very interested in the solar system, other galaxies, planets, and so on, and enjoyed star-gazing. He was a member of the Trigon Fraternity during his four years of college.

Jim moved to Colorado in 1985 for a software engineering job with Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin). Jim held many software/systems engineering and database administration/architecture jobs from 1987-2024. Most were contract/consulting positions in various states or Colorado for the Department of Defense or other Federal government agencies such as the Naval Intelligence Support Center in Washington D.C., White Sands Missile Range in Las Cruces, NM, Joint Intelligence Center Pacific in Honolulu, HI, Bureau of Indian Affairs and National Park Service in Lakewood, CO, and lastly the ADF-C National Reconnaissance Office at Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora, CO. He was granted a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification from (ISC)2 in 2003 and was a member of the Java Users Group in Denver.

In 1991, he met the love of his life, Jolene Jacobsen, through a personal ad in a local Colorado Springs weekly periodical. They dated for a year between Colorado Springs and Lakewood before he was transferred to Boston, after which they kept dating very long distance. Jolene helped him find a job back in Colorado in 1992, and they married in March 1993 in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Jim loved hikes/walks, skiing, snowshoeing, cycling, swimming, scuba diving, rock hunting, traveling, attending IT conferences, watching Sci-Fi and adventure movies and collecting movie-making books about them (particularly Star Wars), listening to movie and TV show soundtracks by his favorite composers (John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry), rooting for the Michigan Wolverines (he was thrilled about the National Championship win on New Years Day 2024), eating pizza and seafood, wearing a wide array of t-shirts, and just relishing the times spent with his wife, her extended family, his Fox relatives, and his network of friends.

Jim is survived by his wife Jolene, brothers-in law and sisters-in-law Lyden (Deborah) Jacobsen, Molly Davis, Lowell (Bonnie) Jacobsen, Heddy (Jack) Cary, and Janelle (Dave) Schell, a nephew Jon (Jill) Hsieh, aunt Marion Fox Ahrens, many Fox cousins, and many nieces and nephews on his wife’s side. He is also survived by his best friend and best man at his wedding Sergio Cuadros. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, sister Judith Hsieh, step-granduncle Fritz Schleyer, parents-in-law Earl and Sybel Jacobsen, brother-in-law Jay Davis, and all but one of his Fox aunts and uncles.

Jim was a sweet, good-natured, sensitive soul with a quirky sense of humor and zest for life. He would have been absolutely ecstatic to know some of his ashes would be launched into space. He thrived on learning and meeting people and would talk with anyone about anything. He formed many long-lasting friendships during his youth and college days in Ann Arbor and through the many jobs he held during his career. He treasured all his relationships with family and friends and kept people close. His future plans and dreams were cut all too short, and he will be dearly missed by his wife and those who loved and knew him.

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