R.A. (Dick) Fox

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Richard (Dick) Fox passed away August 5, 2009 in Calgary at the age of 73.

He was a University of Alberta graduate with a Civil Engineering degree and spent the next three years as assistant city engineer in Swift Current, Saskatchewan before returning to Calgary in 1961. He joined the City of Calgary Engineering staff and, during the suburban boom time, was responsible for all sidewalk construction and known as “Fox of the Walks.” During that time, he articled to Ken Pawson, ALS while he worked to obtain his ALS commission. Later, he became the land development engineer with the consulting firm of Walker, Newby and, later still, became involved directly in land development with Acumen Engineering.

He also formed Fox Engineering and was the developer of the media housing for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. Dick was an enthusiastic golfer, a member of the Calgary Elks Club and also belonged to the Calgary Curling Club. As a member of McDougall United Church, he was superintendent of the Sunday School and taught Bethel Bible Study classes. Dick is survived by his wife Betty, daughters Diane and Debra and their families.

Submitted by Ed Scovill, ALS (Ret.)


Dick Fox joined the newly formed City of Calgary Legal Survey Section on July 31, 1961. He was already a professional engineer but wanted to become a land surveyor as well. He gladly joined my little land surveying section as a rodman but naturally, used his existing instrument and other skills to good advantage for the section. On October 1st of the same year, he signed articles as a student surveyor under my guidance. On April 16, 1962, he joined the streets and roads division and completed his articles under me on October 1st.

Dick was an excellent student surveyor, showing the same qualities that he displayed as a professional engineer— keenness, integrity, accuracy and loyalty. The largest survey our section did during this period was a re-subdivision of part of Cambrian Heights. This was carried out during an exceedingly cold spell in November and December and was really unpleasant and made worse by biting winds. Dick reminded me about this every time we met—even in those later years.

Dick had a great sense of humour and every time he had to sign a plan, or other document beginning with the statement “I, R.A. Fox,” he laughed at the various misunderstandings that he imagined might occur (“I are a fox” and “Irish Republican Army Fox”). I recall, on one occasion, he had to sign several documents at the same time, one after the other, and he began his usual laugh which gradually got louder and louder until all of us were roaring with laughter and none of us were ever really sure which misinterpretation either Dick or each of us was laughing at.

Dick presents his last professional statement to the great Surveyor-General up yonder that they’ll be in order and Dick’s laughter will probably still be heard.

Ken Pawson, ALS (Hon. Life)