Cover photo for Elizabeth Jane "B.J." Fox Garry's Obituary
Elizabeth Jane "B.J." Fox Garry Profile Photo

Elizabeth Jane "B.J." Fox Garry

October 30, 1939 — December 22, 2022

Elizabeth Jane "B.J." Fox Garry

They say that “HE” only gives you what you can handle, and I guess “HE” thought B.J. Garry (Elizabeth Jane Fox Garry) could handle a hell of a lot because she certainly had a rough time of it for the past several years. Diagnosed with lupus more than 10 years ago, B.J. declined more and more with each fall or bout of illness. But she was lucky to be able to stay in her home where she was comfortable, blessed with daily family visits and full-time care. She fought to the very end when she passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, December 22, 2022, at the age of 83.

As much as B.J. was loved by her family, we gladly shared our mom with all the students and fellow teachers she dedicated her time to during her more than 45 years of teaching.  B.J. was caring, patient, relentless, obsessive, and witty. She believed in every student and pushed and supported them to be the best they could be. She especially had a soft spot in her heart for those “less understood”, affectionately referred to as the derelicts. (This was in the 80s when being socially appropriate wasn’t a thing!) She always set an extra spot at the holiday table for any foreign exchange student who didn’t have a place to celebrate. And she never missed a basketball game where she cheered on her Red Raiders who counted on her in the stands. She did not take lightly the self-inflicted responsibility of sending off every senior class with a personalized poem making every graduate feel unique and special. As well as highlighting each colleague in an original Night Before Christmas poem at the faculty party each year. She was obsessed with proper grammar to the point where the red marks on some of the papers she graded were often more than the actual words written.  She even had enough energy to correct me on the day before she died when I asked my dog to, “lay down” and she quietly, corrected me with ”lie down!” 

B.J. loved her evening routine. Starting with a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers, she loved the ABC nightly news and her favorite game shows, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.  Even though Alex Trebek beat her to the finish line, B.J. was dedicated to her shows and was still getting answers right until the very end.

She is survived by her children, Joseph (and Laura), Matthew (and Beth), and Marah (and Greg), grandchildren, Sarah, Emma, Nora, John, and Hope, and great-grandchildren, Mira and Winnie. We were her core and source of life. She was so proud of us, and we are her grateful legacy. Whether it was a holiday-themed cupcake, a repurposed book, or a yard sale find, she’d leave us little reminders of how she was always thinking of us.

We are grateful for her buddy Alexa and her pups for their weekly Saturday lunch dates and her other dear friends who brightened her life by staying in touch with notes, flowers, and visits. And we would like to give special thanks to Quinna and Julia, and all of the home health aides who took such good care of our mom for the past several years.

There will be no formal fanfare. But, feel free to raise a glass of wine and toast this most amazing lady.

And if you are inclined, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Pennington School Cervone Center for Learning where BJ spent more than 30 years leaving an impact on hundreds of students.

Lie in peace Momma, (Granny Beej) we love you!

 

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