Laurie Fox – Rest in Peace
Laurie Fox was a mountain of a man. His stature might have been modest but his intellect was of monumental proportions and to have known him was, to me, an enormous privilege. His death on 21 August 2015 at the age of 100 years and two months was a remarkable innings but far more remarkable was the intact nature of his mind to the end. In the last few months his body was racked with illness and he was figuratively brought to his knees by his ailments but his mind was untouched. I asked him the other day if, when he died, he would let me have a download of his brain. He explained, in his deadpan way that it would be a lot easier if our minds were digital but as they are analogue it was not a practical request. I spent many hours with him while I was working on his biography and, as many of you will know, the result was ‘Laurie Fox – The First 98 Years’. Writing this book was not a task it was a pleasure and, of course, I was aware that in some ways it was his obituary. I am sure he knew that as well.
His contributions to the Bentley Drivers Club were mostly unheralded but he made a bid difference in a number of significant areas most of them computer related. I always found that a man in his nineties who knew so much about computers was , to me, incomprehensible. He forged the ‘Forum’ and wanted to retire after he had set it up and it was running well. Things did not turn out too well, back then, and at the age of 97 he was asked to take his old job back. That does not happen to everybody. I suspect that many people knew his name but not that many had spent much time with him. His family was small and all of them had pre-deceased him. As far as I know he did not have any descendants but he had people who cared a great deal for him and there are a few who deserve a special mention . Harry Waddingham accompanied me for nearly all the exhausting sessions when the biography was being written and he visited Laurie during the last few weeks of his life. Paul White was his confident and cared for him during the period immediately before his 100th birthday and the 8 weeks, or so, since.
Laurie's funeral is on 10 September and is in the afternoon. Harry Waddingham is arranging matters and he is envisaging meeting at 15.00 at Laurie's home with the intention of proceeding to the cemetery at Randalls Park Crematorium Leatherhead at 16.15. The wake will be back at the house thereafter. As many of you may know he had survived all close members of his family and the BDC was effectively his family. We would urge as many BDC members and others who knew him to attend. Please let Harry know. I will be out of the country and cannot be there in person but I wil be thinking of you all.