United States District Court
Eastern District of North Carolina

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The Honorable Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox
Judge Fox

Senior United States District Judge James Carroll Fox (1928 - 2019)

Judge James C. Fox passed away on Saturday, March 23, 2019. Judge Fox honorably served our nation for over thirty five years as a United States District Judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Obituary:

JUDGE JAMES CARROLL FOX Judge James Carroll Fox, 90, of Wilmington, NC, passed away March 23rd at home surrounded by his loving wife and family. Born in Atchison, Kansas, November 6, 1928, Jim was the second son of Jared Copeland Fox III and Ethel Carroll Fox. As a young boy, his family moved to New York and thence to Greensboro, NC, where he spent his formative years. He was graduated from Woodberry Forest School in 1946 and UNC Chapel Hill in 1950. Jim married Katharine deRosset Rhett December 30, 1950, to whom he was steadfastly devoted until his death. Jim served as a Vice President for Dillard Paper Company before returning to UNC Law School from which he was graduated with highest honors in 1957. Jim was invited to remain in Chapel Hill as a law school faculty member, but decided instead to take a position as a law clerk to Federal District Court Judge Donnell Gilliam in eastern NC. Upon Judge Gilliam's death in 1959, Jim entered private practice, with the firm Carter & Murchison, where he became partner in 1960. Jim continued association with the firm (now Murchison, Taylor, & Gibson PLLC) for over 20 years. During his tenure in private practice, Jim served as New Hanover County Attorney for thirteen years (1967-1981) while maintaining his corporate and individual clients. Jim further served his community on numerous civic boards, to include: Boy Scouts, Bradley Creek School PTA, United Way, St. John's Art Gallery (now Cameron Art Museum), Civitan Club, Commodore of the Carolina Yacht Club, UNC Board of Visitors, First Union Bank, Davis Healthcare, Children's Home Society, and St. James Episcopal Church Vestry. Jim was appointed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina by President Ronald W. Reagan on September 13, 1982. His nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate later that month. Jim's active service on the federal bench spanned 35 years. He was privileged to work alongside hundreds of dedicated United States court and law enforcement professionals, in addition to a list of distinguished law clerks and practicing members of the Federal Bar. Jim was a fierce advocate for the integrity of the judiciary and took great pride in their work. Jim's devotion to family always came first and foremost. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Kate, three children, James Carroll Fox Jr., Jane Fox Brown (Michael), and Ruth Fox Jordan (Jay), nine grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by a daughter, Allen Carroll Fox, and a brother, Jared Copeland Fox IV. Jim was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed sailing, fishing, and wing shooting. Throughout his life, he dedicated a great deal of time and resources to the conservation and management of waterfowl, specifically through his work at Oakley Plantation on the Cape Fear River, which he purchased in 1963 and actively managed until his death. It was at Oakley that he found great enjoyment hunting ducks with his family, friends, and many faithful dogs. When not hunting or otherwise engaged, Jim, with Kate always at his side, traveled extensively by sail on their boat, Vixen, and to more distant places by air. He also enjoyed woodworking, having made many pieces of furniture as gifts for family and friends. The family will receive visitors at Edge Hill. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 Wednesday at Saint James Church in Wilmington NC, followed by a burial at Oakdale Cemetery. Memorials may be made to St. James Episcopal Church Foundation, or to Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

Published in the Wilmington Star-News on Mar. 26, 2019