Lelia Elva Fox

August 4, 1913January 15, 2013

August 4, 1913 – January 15, 2013

Elva Fox (Lelia Elva Koontz), wife, mother and homemaker, was born on the family farm near Dodge City, Kansas. She passed away Tuesday morning at the Chris Ridge Village advanced care unit in Phoenix, Arizona, at age 99.

Elva was the second of ten children (six sisters, three brothers) of Leslie C. Koontz and Elsie Josephine Henry. She developed a deep interest in nature at an early age, and planted and tended her own garden in high school, growing flowers, vegetables and fruits. Her prize-winning plants netted her hundreds of ribbons over the years. She was enthralled with flowers, birds and butterflies. During her life in Durango, CO, she participated in many bird counts and was considered an expert on birds of the southwest US.

Elva was a teacher of the elementary grades in a one-room schoolhouse near Jetmore, Kansas. She was a record keeper and photographer, always keeping journals, even into the last few days of her life. She lived through the Great Depression and survived the worst years of the Great Dust Bowl in Hodgeman County, Kansas. In college at Fort Hays she met and married Maynard Fox, who preceded her in death by eleven years. Elva was only a few semester hours away from her degree in education when they moved to another state and started their family.

Elva traveled down the Baja, California peninsula in 1972 with her boys before there were paved or even improved roads, just as she had done in the midwest as a child. She took photographs and kept detailed logs of new birds and plants she saw along the way. Her zeal was contagious. She made trips to Iran, Germany and Thailand to visit family members on overseas assignments and documented everything with journals, photographs and slides.

Elva new how to live life to the fullest and give joy and comfort to others. She had some deep sorrows during her life, yet she never wavered in her faith in God and her basic outlook on life. She will be remembered for her love of nature, her enthusiasm, patience, and greatest of all her gentleness and unbounded love.


Lelia Elva Fox

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Richard Fox

February 26, 2013

I was saddened to learn of Aunt Elva's passing. (Jerry forwarded Larry's email) My earliest memory of Aunt Elva came from a visit by Dad and I to a farm near Hanston, Ks preceding out truck trip with a load of furniture bound for somewhere in Az. I remember her fixing our breakfast out on that farm. I think I was 7. Many years later, my wife and I (think it was wife #2) visited Maynard and Elva when they lived in Sun City. It was a memorable visit. Our families were never close - - a few visits over the years and I guess the distance was the reason. We saw them in Durango once or twice. I remember the nice greenhouse. But it was in Sun City that Aunt Elva took the time and very patiently explained to me exactly what Rachel Carson was saying in "Silent Spring". I've never forgotten that conversation. My condolences to all. Dick Fox