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          Front Page


Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Family, Friends Were Vital to Soccer Enthusiast Karl Fox

By Paul Logan
Journal Staff Writer
    Karl Fox was known as a happy-go-lucky person who valued family and friends above everything else.
    Fox almost always wore a smile, whether working at his family's German car specialist business, playing adult soccer or hanging out with his friends, according to his mother, Jacqueline Fuchs Fox.
    He also loved taking road trips. Fox's plans included a drive to Arkansas in February, a trip to Houston in 2004 to be best man at a friend's wedding and a flight to Germany in 2006 for soccer's World Cup.
    "Any excuse and he'd hit the road," she said. "Off he'd go."
    The young Albuquerque man's dreams ended on Jan. 19.
    Fox, 24, died at the scene after his motorcycle crashed under a truck and burst into flames.
    Ryan Plake, one of his friends who witnessed the accident, helped pull Fox free. Plake said he and others used their shirts to extinguish Fox's burning clothing, but he probably was already dead.
    The accident occurred in the 10000 block of San Jacinto NE when the truck pulled away from the curb and into the motorcycle's path. It is still under investigation, police said.
    Plake said Fox "was great at making many, many friends," and he was the glue who kept his closest buddies together.
    At his funeral on Saturday, French Mortuary's 250-seat chapel overflowed with more than 450 mourners.
    Fox's mother said the outside of the casket was decorated with hundreds of photographs of Fox and his friends. The family also placed items inside the casket, including soccer memorabilia and pictures of the family and his brown Labrador retriever, Belle.
    "We just wanted to personalize his going," his mother said. "It seemed to help a lot of his friends ... To me it gave me some peace of mind."
    Karl Heinrich Fuchs Fox was the youngest of four children. He played soccer since the first grade and helped out at Dieter's German Car Specialists since he was 14.
    Fox attended Sandia and Eldorado high schools. After graduating, he worked full time for his father, Dieter Fox, and became the service and parts manager. He took business courses at Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute, hoping to eventually take over for his dad, Fox's mother said.
    "He was the kind of kid who would give you the shirt off his back," she said. "He was the kind of kid who didn't have a problem giving either one of us a hug or kiss in public."
    Monika Anne Fuchs Grabke said her brother rarely was unhappy. If it happened, it was because he was upset at the way people were improperly treating his family or friends.
    Fox would loan his car to friends if they needed transportation and his best clothes if they needed help for an interview, she said.
    "When it came to his friends and family," his sister said, "he went above and beyond."
    Fox coached a youth girls soccer team, the Bullets, and played on an adult team by the same name. The 6-foot, 173-pound player once helped his team win a championship.
    Plake, who played on the same team, said he went on many of Fox's road trips.
    His friend said Fox was serious when it was appropriate, "but he always loved to have fun."
    Other survivors include his brothers, Ryan of Albuquerque and Dieter Sean of Los Lunas, and grandparents, Hans and Marie Buers of Albuquerque.