Jack Fox obituary: Hampstead 'action man' with 'a wicked sense of humour'

Jack Fox, who spent half a century living in Hampstead

Jack Fox, who spent half a century living in Hampstead - Credit: Fox family

The family of a Hampstead "action man" have paid tribute to their dentist dad who loved vintage cars, flying planes and Whitestone Pond.

Jack Fox, 90, died earlier in August after suffering a stroke. He was about to turn 91. 

Born in Hammersmith, he moved to Hampstead with wife Judy in 1967. They built a home on land bought in the garden of Anna Gaitskell, widow of one-time Labour titan Hugh, in Frognal. 

Jack Fox and wife Judy moved into Frognal Gardens in the late 1960s

Jack Fox and wife Judy moved into Frognal Gardens in the late 1960s - Credit: Fox family

Jack was a dentist and had a practice in Clayhall Avenue in the Gants Hill area of Ilford – treating patients including Noel Edmonds and Alan Sugar. 

He retired at 55 and devoted himself to a series of daredevil hobbies, most notably flying. 

His daughter Sue said: "He was a very caring dad, if not a little strict at times! He had so many interests, he was really a bit of an action man."

She said over the half-century her dad lived in Hampstead he developed "such wonderful relationships" around the village.

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She said: "Not just family and friends, but he knew all of the shopkeepers, and he would always be having proper chats with the butcher or the grocer, for example. It was much more than just polite conversation."

Hampstead 'action man' Jack Fox

Hampstead 'action man' Jack Fox - Credit: Fox family

Remembering her dad's love of adrenaline, Sue said: "He loved gliding, and flying was probably his main thing. He would fly two-seater light aircrafts – though he also flew Spitfires a couple of times"

Closer to the ground, Sue recalled time spent around Hampstead. 

"He would take us on the Heath such a lot," she said. "He would love to walk us up to Whitestone Pond. And then Saturdays he would sometimes take us on an impromptu trip to Fortnum and Mason's for breakfast.

Sue added that Jack had a "wicked sense of humour", citing something called the "heart-attack game" he would play while flying with Stephen.

Jack and Judy Fox

Jack and Judy Fox - Credit: Fox family

"He taught me so many life lessons," she said. "And he was always coming and going in Hampstead, going to places like the Coffee Cup every week."

Jack Fox was born in Hammersmith in 1930. He died aged 90 and is survived by wife Judy, children Sue and Stephen, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.