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May 6, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Wood transformed in his hands

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“When I was young, I would build model airplanes, and I always found it challenging to repair them when I crashed them,” Edward Fox says. “I don’t know if that translated into repairing furniture.”
I wanted a country life, something different from the city where I could raise my kids. Somewhere that involved more outdoor activities with my kids, like fishing along the Rappahannock River. We wanted a connection with the community and a comfortable environment. We know elected officials by name in the community.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Restoring and repairing antique and family heirloom furniture gives him great satisfaction.

Edward Fox, owner of Fox Wood Works near Morrisville, specializes in returning furniture to its former glory. His business is one of the few that still practices chair rushing, caning, and splinting.

For 28 years, Mr. Fox has built his business on resourcefulness, craftsmanship and enjoyment.

“Often times if I can’t find or buy a part myself, I create it,” he said.

Situated along Route 17 in a structure that served as the Morrisville Normal Training School until 1919, Mr. Fox rents from the adjancent Morrisville United Methodist Church.

A Sumerduck Ruritan Club member for 35 years, Mr. Fox serves his community through charitable work such as raising money for high school scholarships, providing Christmas food baskets for shut-ins and cooking at the traditional fish fry.

He and his family moved to Sumerduck more than three decades ago, because: “We wanted a connection with the community and a comfortable environment. We know elected officials by name in the community.”

• Age
60

• Home
Sumerduck

• Work
Owner and manager of Fox Wood Works, near Morrisville, for 28 years.

I originally started in the garage behind my house. My original vision was to build furniture. After a couple years of doing that, I found it was more profitable to repair and restore furniture.

The last 20 years has solely been repair and restoration of antique or family heirloom furniture and chair rushing, caning and splinting.

Depending on the repair, a piece goes through stages of gluing, striping, staining and adding multi-layer coats of lacquer. Since 1999, I have been spraying water-based, non-toxic, non-flammable lacquers and stains.

When I was young, I would build model airplanes, and I always found it challenging to repair them when I crashed them. I don’t know if that translated into repairing furniture. I thought I would grow up to be a mechanic.

Drove a school bus for Fauquier County Public Schools from 1990 to 2002.
Previously a lieutenant at the Prince William County Regional Jail for 10 years.

• Why do you do the job?
I like to be independent. I was able to build things without depending on others. Often times, if I can’t find or buy a part myself, I create it. You can be resourceful with a business startup. When I left the correctional business, I apprenticed under Peter Grycotis in Fredericksburg, who taught me to repair and restore furniture.

• Family
Wife, Carmen; daughter, Jen Robinson, and son, Jeremy.

• Education
Northern Virginia Community College, 1973-74. University of Colorado and George Washington University for law enforcement courses.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of the Sumerduck Ruritan Club since 1980. I’m the head of the social development committee, and we do most of the charitable work in the community, such as the Christmas baskets for shut-ins, scholarships for students at LHS, we maintain medical equipment for people, run the Sumerduck Fish Fry . . . . just about anything you can think of to help the community.

My wife and I are practicing Catholics, but we like to worship locally at Morrisville United Methodist Church.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
37 years. I moved here from Prince William County.

• Why do you live here?
I wanted a country life, something different from the city where I could raise my kids. Somewhere that involved more outdoor activities with my kids, like fishing along the Rappahannock River. We wanted a connection with the community and a comfortable environment. We know elected officials by name in the community.

• How do you describe this county?
A beautiful rolling countryside. I have always thought of Fauquier County as friendly and affordable. . . . It’s still friendly.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
The cost of everything is artificially high. I like that the public officials have kept taxes down.

• What do you do for fun?
I like maintaining the yard and my garden. Visit with friends and playing with my seven grandchildren. Chopping wood. Working Sumerduck Ruritan Club events.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
At the shop or at the house in the garden.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
A lot like it is now. Bealeton will be bigger, and I think it is going to explode with growth. I think the rest of the county will stay the same.

• Favorite TV show?
“Last Man Standing”

• Favorite movie?
“The Cider House Rules”

• Favorite book?
Fiction, “Chesapeake” by James Michener.
Non-fiction, “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly.

• Favorite vacation spot?
The Shenandoah Valley

• Favorite food?
Bacon

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
My father always said, “Stay out of debt.”

• Who’s your hero and why?
To do this job I need a lot of encouragement. My wife has always stayed behind me about what I wanted to do and when things got dark, she always stayed positive and always gave me ideas.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. I would still have to work to meet my obligations for at least a year. Give some to charity and save some.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Earl Arrington serves printing customers and his community.

• Michael Hughes wears music, threater and equestrian hats.

• Store in Goldvein part of Susan Leopold’s family legacy.

• County native Maggi MacQuilliam devoted to the great outdoors.

• Health care for the needy Rob Marino’s mission.

• Daphne Latimore focuses on human capital.

• Horses extend Louise Summers’ work as teacher.

• As volunteer coach, Jeff Budd develops young wrestlers.


• Fraces Allshouse’s jobs focus on preservation.

• Jessica Smolinski’s book introduces children to Old Town Warrenton.

• Margaret Rice’s job all about fitness and fun in Warrenton.


• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.


• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.


• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.


• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.


• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.


• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton




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