Wayne Fox Obituary

Wayne Franklin Fox
Wayne Fox
Wayne Franklin Fox

May 11, 1920 - June 19, 2008
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Windsor Heights, IA
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Notable Des Moines businessman Wayne Franklin Fox died on June 19. Wayne was born on May 11, 1920, in Des Moines, the second child of E. Frank and Ethel Larkin Fox.

One hundred years ago Wayne's father came to Des Moines from Saint Joseph, Missouri. In 1914, his father founded the Fox Chemical Company on East Grand Avenue which later became Foxbilt Feeds.

During the Depression, Wayne's father moved the family to his Foxbilt Research Farm outside of Huxley, which had been the Des Moines Register Model Farm. Wayne and his older brother, Edwin, commuted to Des Moines to attend North High School. Wayne graduated in 1937. After high school he attended Drake University, majoring in Music and Drama. He was a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity and led the Wayne Fox's Band. Having already learned to fly in the 124th Observation Squadron, Iowa National Guard, he left college after two years to join the Army Air Corps as a "Flying Sergeant."

In 1941, Wayne was commissioned as a Lieutenant in Flight Control Command in Washington, D.C. His first assignment was coordinating the air shuttle of Patton's army to New York for sea transport to the war in Europe. Later, Wayne was in charge of the Flight Command on Saipan for the B29 bombing of Japan.

At war's end he left the Air Corps as a Captain and returned to Des Moines to rejoin his father and brother in the family business.

In 1946, Wayne famously converted the Hotel Colfax into the National Swine Palace replete with sow and suckling piglets in the lobby. In 1950, Wayne supervised the construction of the first automated feed plant in the United States and emblazoned the towering Eastside landmark with huge company logos on all sides. In 1956, the feedplant itself became famous as the home of Peggy, the baby African elephant, which Wayne raised on Foxbilt pig-starter feed.

Wayne was renowned for both his memory and the outgoing personality that allowed him to form countless friendships. He became Director of Sales in the company. Wayne was an expert on what makes a great steak and always thought of himself as a cattleman.

In 1961, after the sale of Foxbilt, Wayne and three associates, Dr. Leroy Hanson, Kenneth Lepley, and Francis "Slats" Satterlee, formed a new feed company, Triple "F" Feeds.

The new endeavor, dubbed the nation's "fastest growing feed company," created a sensation in the industry by not building its own feed plant, choosing instead to create individualized concentrated supplements made locally throughout the Midwest to match the needs of area farmers.

As the feed business changed, Triple "F" became an equipment company and later also a food company. Wayne felt that his greatest achievement was the co-development of a soybean extruder with Dr. Leroy Hanson. In 1970, they founded Insta-Pro International to develop the soybean extruder technology worldwide. Iowa State University researchers credit the extruder as a step towards eliminating world hunger by supplying nutrition for livestock, fish farms, as well as human food supplements.

Even during the Cold War, Wayne saw no borders in helping to eliminate world hunger. As president of the Iowa Trade Organization he made many humanitarian trips, traveling to the Soviet Union and to 35 foreign countries. Over the years, Wayne continued to pursue his vision of global agriculture. He read extensively and invested in the new Soy Innovation plant in Indianola Iowa. Never retiring, Wayne continued to work until the end.

While he enjoyed his professional success, Wayne's true pride and joy was his family. On October 26, 1946, he married Joyce Jones. Together they had four children, Craig, Jeff, Sheila, and Melanie. Wayne and Joyce divorced in 1973. Wayne married Marian Newell in 1979. Joyce passed in 1993 and Marian in 1995.

Wayne was a member of countless boards and institutions in the feed industry, international trade, Republican Party, and charitable institutions. Wayne was a member of the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine and he and Marion were members of First Christian Church in Des Moines.

Wayne died after a short stay in the hospital following an aortic aneurysm and is survived by his four children, Craig Franklin Fox of Des Moines, Jeffrey Arthur Fox of Berkeley, California, Sheila June Fox and Melanie Joyce Fox, both of Honolulu, Hawaii; stepchildren David Earl Newell of Dallas, Texas, Bruce Gregory Newell of Conway, South Carolina, Kristin Ann Putnam of Omaha, Nebraska, five grandchildren, and brother Edwin Fox of Northfield Minnesota.

Visitation will be 3:00-7:00 P.M. Monday with the family present 5:00-7:00 P.M. at Westover Funeral Home on Hickman Avenue. Services are at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday at First Christian Church, 2500 University Avenue, Des Moines followed by internment at Glendale Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Shriners' Children's Hospital would be welcome.


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Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Monday, June 23, 2008
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
First Christian Church
2500 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
11:00 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Shriners Childrens Hospital
1100 Shriners Parkway
Altoona, IA US 50009