Donald “Don” R. Fox, 86 – Austin Daily Herald

Donald “Don” R. Fox, 86 – Austin Daily Herald

Donald “Don” R. Fox, 86

Published at 21:49 on Thursday, December 29, 2022

Donald “Don” R. Fox, 86

Donald “Don” Richard Fox, 86, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at The Cedars of Austin. Don was born March 26, 1936, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Peter and Noreen (Doole) Fox. He grew up in Rochester and was a 1954 graduate of Rochester Lourdes High School. After graduating high school, he attended the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan, where he earned a degree in education and played football. On June 15, 1957, he married Marlene Walsh at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Rochester, Minnesota.

After graduating from college, Don taught and coached football in the Detroit area. In 1965, he continued teaching and coaching football in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While in South Dakota, Don earned a master’s degree from South Dakota State University in counseling. In 1970, he began a long career at Austin High School and continued his education through Mankato State University earning a master’s degree in education. In addition to teaching physical education and coaching varsity football and track, he also served as Austin High School’s assistant principal for eight years and interim athletic director for one year. In 1993, Don moved into elementary education when he became principal at Southgate Elementary until 1998. Although technically retired, there was still a pull that kept him going back into education. He served as interim principal at Sumner Elementary for three months during the 2003-2004 school year, and in 2008, Don was elected to the Austin School Board where he continued to serve until 2020.

Don coached Austin High School football for 16 years, which included three Big 9 championships. He was a member of the AHS Athletic Hall of Fame, the Lourdes High School Hall of Fame and the State Football Association Hall of Fame. He also served as the coach for the Minnesota South Squad All-Star game.

Don gave back to the Austin community in many ways as well, including serving as a dedicated Salvation Army bell ringer, Karl Potach Golf Tournament volunteer, Austin Park and Recreation Board member, Public Education Foundation Board member of Austin, ARC volunteer, Special Olympics. volunteer, Paramount Trustee volunteer, and Town Committee Pillar, among others. He was also the first juvenile court judge of Mower County. In his spare time, Don enjoyed golf.

Don’s years as a teacher, administrator, coach, school board member and valued community volunteer led to the practice field on the east side of the Wescott Athletic Complex being named in his honor on August 9, 2021.

Survivors include his wife, Marlene Fox of Austin, MN; children, Michael Fox of Austin, MN, Lisa (Brad) Schammel of Maple Grove, MN, Tim (Liz) Fox of Brookfield, WI; grandchildren, Nicole (Greg) Anderson of Hanover, MN, Kristi Schammel of Washington, DC, Gina (Noah) Roberts of Chicago, IL, Grace Fox of Milwaukee, WI, and Emma Fox of Milwaukee, WI; three great-grandchildren, Remi Anderson, Levi Anderson and Poppy Roberts. He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Noreen Fox; grandson, Peter Fox; siblings, Beverly Simmons, Delores Wangen, Patty Byrd and Peter Fox.

A Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, January 2, 2023, at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin. Visitation will be from 9:00-11:00 a.m. prior to the service. Interment will be held at a later date in Calvary Cemetery, Rochester, Minnesota. In honor of Don’s love of the color red and the Austin Packers, his family invites you to wear red to his services. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to The Cedars of Austin – Memory Care, REM Woodvale, Cedar Valley Services or LIFE Mower County. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

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