Vital Difference Maker Rita Fox
No matter the event or activity at Peter Becker Community you will find Rita Fox helping to make sure it happens well and smoothly. Whether it is selling tickets for the Auxiliary Tea and Fashion Show or fruit cakes for the holidays, Rita Fox energetically and generously donates her time and experience to help Peter Becker Community
Rita was born in Washington DC. Her father was an Insurance Adjuster and her mother was an amazing home maker that loved to entertain and dress up in long dresses for gatherings. Growing up one of four children there were a lot of fun times. One of her earliest memories is when the family went on a trip to Lake Wanoka in the Poconos. The family stayed in a cabin. Young Rita and her siblings had great fun playing at the lake together.
The carefree times at the cabin though did not last Rita’s mother developed kidney problems and passed away when Rita and her siblings were still small. Rita’s life drastically changed. Being a young father of four and having a busy job her father soon remarried. As a 12 year old girl who had lost her mother, this change was very hard on Rita and her siblings especially with the addition of a “step mother”. Rita and her siblings tried hard but it was a tough situation. Her father and her step mother had 2 sons together. Rita and her brother and sisters felt kind of second fiddle once the new boys were born.
Rita walked 1 mile every day to school no matter the weather. Rita enjoyed school and had a close group of friends. They spent a lot of time riding bikes, going to movies and playing outside. She spent a lot of time with them since she did not connect well with her step mother.
After graduating from Havertown High School Rita attended Pierce Business School so she could develop a skill to have a place in the work force. She met her husband, Joe, through a mutual friend. She was immediately smitten by her husband. He was very good looking. The week after she met him she found out that they were both going to be in Wildwood for the weekend. But she did not know where he was staying or what beach he would be at. So Rita talked her friend into walking the whole beach with her and finally they “happened” to run in to Joe and his friends. They dated and eventually had a beautiful wedding.
After getting married they lived in an apartment in the Chestnut Hill/Roxborough Area. Joe was an avid Horseman and had several horses. Rita also got into horseback riding. Often on weekends they would ride on the Wissahickon trail and have breakfast or lunch at Valley Green Inn. Rita said that she had a really nice horse with a great personality named Millie, but what she like most about riding horses were all the neat outfits you got to wear.
After a couple of years they bought a ranch house in Plymouth Valley. Rita worked at Suburban Water Company. She started off in the accounting department but was promoted to the computer Punch Card Department which she supervised for 20years. After retiring from Suburban in 1969, Rita did not stay retired for long. She took on a temporary job to help out a friend as a switch board operator from 8am to 12pm at Provident Indemnity Life Insurance. It was just supposed to be for a week but she ended up working there for 20years.
Joe was an engineer with ACME for 44+ years overseeing all of ACME’s building and larger maintenance needs. Joe job with ACME kept him on the road a lot traveling between PA, NJ, and DE. Joe also did not know the meaning of retirement and continued to consult for ACME for many years.
A very important part of Rita life is her faith. This serves as the source for all she does and is the focus of her life. Rita attended a Billy Graham campaign through the invitation of some friends and it changed her life. A few months later Joe accepted Christ as his savior and they got involved in a local bible study. They had no plans to start a church but they started to meet with some friends to study the bible. Soon a small congregation was formed, fundraising and property was found, and they helped to found Faith Church. Rita and Joe served in many different areas with Joe teaching Sunday School classes. Rita is actively involved at Faith Church where she still attends. It has made a huge impact on her life and has many friends there.
Joe and Rita choose to move into Peter Becker in 1991 they were one of the first cottages on Crescent Lane. The campus looked so different back then. Both Joe and Rita were young and friends were wondering why they would move to an old peoples community. They really liked the cottage and they were looking to down-size. For 6 or 7 years, Rita and Joe continued to work while living at PBC. Upon their retirement, Rita started to volunteer doing the switch board for PBC in the evening and Joe would drive the van for trips. This helped them both get to know people and become more a part of the community. They both loved to golf. Joe was very outgoing and loved to do all kinds of outings. Joe also always had a clean shined up car, so having the garage was a must. Their garage actually has a drain in it. This allowed Joe to wash his car and keep it clean using the garage.
This past May it will have been 8 years since Joe has passed. This was a very hard time for Rita but through the community of friends that are actually more like family, she has been able to cope. She shared that she doesn’t know how she would have ever gotten through this time without all of her friends and loved ones at PBC.
Through the 27 years Rita has lived at Peter Becker Community she has volunteered in many areas:
- Cashier at Thrift Store
- Water distribution
- Auxiliary: Secretary, Fundraiser, Welcoming Committee, Fashion Show Coordinator, and many other roles.
Rita Fox is a greatly loved, active member of the Peter Becker Family, her smiling face and caring heart has left a loving touch on so many lives throughout our community and beyond. Recently Rita was asked “Why do you volunteer?” Rita’s answer, “It helps to give you a sense of worth and I truly enjoy helping others. Also, it keeps you busy!”
If you would like to know how you can volunteer at Peter Becker Community. We have some amazing opportunities for you to help out, make friends, and grow relationships. Please contact Janelle Adams (Volunteer Coordinator) to learn more at 215.256.9501 ext.7257.