Gail Fox Memorial Scholarship available for student pursuing early childhood education degree

Gail Fox works with youngsters at Small Wonder Child Care, where she worked  for 15 years. As a tribute to her love of children, her family established the Gail Fox Memorial Scholarship.

Photo courtesy of the Fox family

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Gail Fox was barely 50 when she lost a fast and furious battle with cancer on Oct. 19 of this year. Her family has been devastated by the loss of their wife, mother and grandmother, but knew they wanted to do something to pay tribute to Gail and decided to set up a scholarship fund in her memory.

Memorials for Gail were placed into a permanent endowment with Central Montana Foundation for a $500 scholarship to be awarded annually to a Fergus High School graduating senior or college student majoring in early childhood or elementary education. Applicants for the Gail Fox Memorial Scholarship will use the universal application available on CMF and FHS websites. Call CMF at 538-6130 for more information.

 Gail worked at Small Wonder Child Care for 15 years and had a love for teaching and working with children. Her husband, Scott Fox, described the difficult journey their family has been on over the last few years. 

Scott was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August 2014 and had surgery that fall, then had a scary close call from a hematoma, followed by several rounds of cancer treatments. In December 2015 testing showed his cancer was undetectable, however the family’s elation at Scott’s news was short-lived. 

Less than two weeks later, Gail was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. “Regardless of what life threw at her, Gail was never the victim - she was always positive and determined that she wouldn’t let it affect how she lived her life,” Scott said.

Gail responded to the cancer diagnosis with her hallmark optimism; never complaining while she endured rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. A PET scan in July revealed the cancer had spread to her liver. Scott said she was quiet for about a half hour on their drive home after hearing the prognosis, before remarking, “I decided I have a lot to live for.” 

Gail made the best of the time that remained. She showered her love on her husband and their four adult children, Levi, Caitlin, Teal and Sierra, and grandsons, Max and Kyle. Scott said their family was Gail’s focus in life. “She loved her kids. Period.” He said that being a mother came naturally to Gail and she knew how to relate to each of them in terms they understood.

Gail and Scott are originally from South Dakota and met at South Dakota State University. They married in 1986 and Scott said Gail was the love of his life and best friend. “Some may find it hard to believe, but in 30 years of marriage we never had a fight. Just a marriage of love, understanding and support.”

The Fox family moved to Lewistown with their four children in 1996 where Scott was stationed with the Montana Highway Patrol (he retired in the fall of 2015 and now runs the sporting department at Don’s Store.) Besides working at Small Wonder, Gail put her creative side to work framing pictures at Moccasin Mountain Art Gallery. Gail loved crafting and her cross-stitch, needlepoint, knitting and crochet projects are family heirlooms.

Scott and the rest of the family are appreciative of the support they received during Gail’s illness and for the memorials that poured in following her death. The Gail Fox Memorial Scholarship will provide a legacy for a woman who always had a bright smile and positive attitude, and who, Scott said, “just loved kids.”

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