Railway House, Roundfort
The unexpected passing of Eric Fox of Railway House, Roundfort, Hollymount, came as a shock not just to his family and friends but also to the wider community of south Mayo where he was widely known and highly regarded.
The successful upholstery business which he established in Ballinrobe over twenty years ago brought him into contact with people across the region. He built up personal as well as business relationships with many of them over the years.
From his childhood years Eric developed a keen interest in several sports, no doubt initially encouraged by his father Clifford who was an international cricket umpire. Eric always kept up his interest in cricket and was heartened by the international successes of the Ireland side in recent years.
In his teenage years Eric did a little boxing and played soccer at under-age level with Shamrock Rovers. The club was represented at his funeral.
In his days in Dublin he was an ardent supporter of Lansdowne Rugby Club. In 2005 he revived his interest in rugby and became one of Connacht Rugby’s most dedicated supporters. He rarely missed a home fixture.
It is not generally known that in the late ‘sixties, along with Rodney Tuach, Johnny Lee and Kevin Cavey, Eric was one of the founding members of the Surf Club of Ireland. The club went on to become a major force in international surfing.
Eric was a qualified motor mechanic by trade and worked with Irish Car Rentals until 1971 when he married Nell Biggins from Cornfield, Robeen. After their wedding they lived in Edmonton, Canada, for five years.
In 1981 they bought the Railway House in Roundfort and soon settled in to rural life. Eric helped set up the Roundfort Soccer Club and took part in a number of productions with the Garrymore Drama Group.
He identified a need in the region for an upholsterer. He learned the trade, went into business and never looked back.
In 2009 Eric had the traumatic experience of a cancer diagnosis. Following surgery and treatment he was able to return to work and remained in good health for the following decade. He was always available and willing to share his experience with anyone who found themselves in a similar situation.
His witty sense of humour and his friendly nature endeared him to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. He possessed an encyclopaedic knowledge of a spectrum of topics from current affairs to sporting trivia. His close friends, which included the late Fr Paddy Sheridan of Robeen among many others, cherished his company and will feel his loss for many a day.
Eric is sadly missed by his wife Nell, daughter Jenny, son Alec, son-in-law Denis, daughter-in-law Kate and five grandsons: Ewan, Stuart, Finn, Leo and Ari and all who knew him. - G.D.