Susan Irene (Pettinger) Fox, passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by family, on June 13, 2022, at the age of 79. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Dr. Paul Fox along with her revered grandmother Dorie, her parents Marie (Toohey) and John Pettinger, her brother Jack, her sister-in-law Elizabeth, her infant son Michael, and brother-in-life John Meyer. Cherished by her children Sarah, Paul (Libby), Margaret Armstrong (Jamie), Christopher (Charlene Saber), Peter (Melodie Sjoblad), and Anne Wick (Billy), Spanish exchange daughter Rebeca Saavedra, and Irish transplants Dominic and Karen Crotty. Adored grandmother “Mom” to Nora Wynn (Will Veitch); Julia Lockhart (Jack), Grace, Donovan, and Colette Armstrong; Luke and Rory Fox; Eva and Finn Fox; Owen and Eloise Wick; and Louie and Simon Fox; surrogate “Granny Fox” to James, Niamh, and Liam Crotty. Dearest great-grandmother to Otto, Esmé, and Alma Veitch Wynn. She is also survived by her siblings-in-law Jane Pettinger, Alice McMahon, Pete Mavrelis, James Fox, Penny Hamilton, Sheila and Bill McLaughlin, Larry and Ramona Fox, and sisters-in-life Loretta Meyer, Gail Noel, and Anne Geyman, along with many treasured godchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, cousins-in-law, and countless devoted friends.
Susan was born on January 2, 1943, in Chicago. She graduated from Siena High School in 1960 and from Rosary College in 1964 with a degree in Philosophy. In 1965, she married her high school sweetheart and they relocated to Milwaukee where he attended medical school and she taught second grade at Palmer Street school. Soon thereafter, she and Paul started their family and built a magical life. Their early married years saw relocations as Paul completed his surgical training, from Chicago to Wauwatosa to Washington DC, before finally settling in Waukesha in 1976. Lifelong friendships were made at every stop, strengthened and nurtured by innumerable handwritten correspondences and lively phone calls. In 1979 they built the home that would become a place of gathering and joy for so many friends and families for over 40 years. Her essence brought that home to life.
Sue was a consummate hostess and commandeered hundreds of memorable parties, dinners, and holidays. For over 30 years, she hosted Thanksgiving, often welcoming 70 or 80 guests to a sit-down dinner where your place was marked by a Christmas ornament with your name on it. Dozens of Fox cousin Christmas trees hang heavy each year with the ornaments of Thanksgivings past, now cherished reminders of the special love from Aunt Sue. Any guest walking through the door was greeted with a Mom Fox hug and then treated to songs, laughter and the aroma of cinnamon rolls, bread, pancakes, pies or any number of other Sue specialties. It was the home where all her children’s friends gathered, several for lengthy stays while in college or on a professional rotation that brought them to the Milwaukee area. Sue had a natural aptitude for comforting others and authored countless letters and notes of soothing prose.
Sue’s faith deeply shaped her values, friendships, and character. She was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where she served as a Eucharistic Minister, an engaged parishioner, and an involved parent. Her association with Catholic Memorial High School, where all her children graduated, continued until her last days when she experienced the thrill of watching her grandson graduate Valedictorian of his 2022 class. She was an enthusiastic Crusaders fan who supported generations of CMH athletes, especially Bill Young’s football teams. But you can be sure she was the proudest fan in the stands of any team or activity her grandchildren participated in. Having enjoyed a special closeness with her own grandmother, Sue determined to make each of her grandchildren feel important. And while she spoiled them heartily with gifts and attention, the very best gift was her laughter, which she gave them in spades.
She was a talented swimmer, spending her summers as a child at Portage Park Pool and with her cousins and friends causing mischief in Lake Geneva. With her husband, children and grandchildren, she treasured days at their Green Lake home, which was as welcoming and alive with her spirit as the home in Waukesha. She was a convivial travel companion and especially memorable for her were yearly ski trips to Michigan or Colorado and adventures in Ireland and Mexico. Sue often exclaimed how lucky she was, how happy and blessed her life had been, and generously shared her time and good fortune with others. She filled her house with fresh flowers, loved quiet mornings watching birds in her yard, and relished time in the woods behind her home, especially after a snowfall. She leaves many lasting legacies, especially her devotion to her family, the care she gave to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her deep, lifelong friendships, and the resilience and grace with which she lived her life until her final breath. It was all of us who were the lucky ones to call her, Mom.
Visitation and funeral Mass will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church 225 N. Hartwell Ave. Waukesha, WI 53186. Visitation June 28, 2022 from 4 pm to 8 pm and June 29, 2022 from 11 am to 12 pm. The funeral Mass will begin June 29 at 12 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hope Center of Waukesha (
Randle-Dable Brisk Funeral Home, Crematory and Preplanning Services is honored to serve the family. For further information, please call the funeral home at 262-547-4035 or visit us online at
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