Dr. Tim Fox

May 16, 1956 ~ December 7, 2021 (age 65)



On the morning of Monday, December 7, 2021, Dr. Timothy Paul Fox transitioned from this life into his eternal destination in Heaven.  When Jesus called, Tim departed his earthly existence easily, quickly, and peacefully.  Tim has struggled with health issues the past few years and fought valiantly to live as he was passionate about life.  We are reminded of 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith.”  On that day many years ago when Tim professed his belief in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, his eternal destination was sealed. As a family optometrist, Tim spent his career helping others “see”, but with our Christian life, we must “walk by faith”.  Tim is now “seeing” the indescribably beautiful eternal life that God has promised us. 

Tim was born on May 16, 1956, at the former St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville, TN to parents Paul Fox and Edna Fox (Acuff).  He spent his entire growing-up years in the small East Tennessee town of Oliver Springs but resided in Knoxville at the time of his passing.  Tim was an only child but compensated for this by being very close to his cousins.  During his childhood, he resided beside his maternal grandparents and, for this reason, he was always “the pick”. Every Sunday afternoon, the family, with lots of cousins, would gather at our grandparents’ home in Oliver Springs and create our own fun.  Compared to today’s fast-paced world, it seems simple --- but, guaranteed, it was the best childhood!  Activities included kickball, hide ‘n seek, picking vegetables from the garden, catching rainwater off the tin roof, and hiking and exploring.  Sometimes we would walk to the local elementary school to play on the outside gym equipment.  On very special days, we were given some pocket change and allowed to walk downtown to Hooper’s Drug Store to get a double-scooped ice cream or cherry coke or to Simmons Store for a root beer and chocolate bar. 

Tim was extremely intelligent.  While most kids watched TV growing up, Tim spent his time reading (including encyclopedias.) He was a skilled chess player and also an avid tennis player in his younger years.  Tim graduated as Valedictorian of Oliver Springs High School in 1974 and pursued dual degrees in biology and chemistry at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) graduating in 1978.  Tim was accepted into Southern College of Optometry in Memphis graduating in 1982. He had no connections to get accepted into Optometry School.  He was not a legacy.  He achieved this feat on his own through his focus, hard work and determination, studying, and sacrifice.  It was always Tim’s desire to return home to practice.  In October 1982, he established and opened Fox Family Eye Care in Oliver Springs where he worked in private practice for 38 years.  Tim truly had the persona of a small town doctor.  His patients were not just patients to him.  He knew them personally.  He enjoyed learning about their families; he was interested in their life experiences (jobs, weddings, babies, deaths); and his patients felt his warmth and genuineness.  As we all know, emergencies don’t always happen at convenient times.  Tim met many people facing eye issues at his office after hours, on weekends and on holidays.   

Tim would have continued to work for many more years had it not been for the downturn of his health.  For most of his life, he was healthy, but, within a very short period of time he was diagnosed with non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and diabetes.  Many people did not realize he was ill as it was not a topic he would dwell on.  Tim was successful but material possessions were not his priority.  He was incredibly benevolent and generous and gave back in many ways.  He supported many local schools, churches and individuals often in anonymity.  For many years, he provided complimentary eye screenings to local schools. He was warm and kind to everyone he met including service workers (bank tellers, newspaper carriers, salesclerks, postal employees, restaurant employees).  An individual’s status in life or achievements were not what mattered to him.  Everyone was important and had value. 

Tim loved to travel!  He extensively traveled throughout the United States to places such as the Hawaiian islands (especially fond of Maui and Hana); New York City; Banff and Alberta, Canada; the Northern California Redwood Empire and wine country near San Francisco; Carmel by the Sea; Lake Tahoe, Nevada; the Bahamas; and many other places of interest in the states.  His favorite place was Las Vegas, Nevada, and, in recent years, he enjoyed visiting Cherokee, North Carolina. Tim had a unique and often self-deprecating sense of humor.  No matter the situation, he found a way to bring levity and laughter.  He liked to day-trade and enjoyed keeping up with the stock market. He found pleasure watching his favorite college team, the Tennessee Vols, and he kept up with the NFL with his favorite team being the Green Bay Packers. Tim joined the Sigma Chi fraternity while at TTU and cherished the bond he found with his “brothers”.

On Monday morning, Tim was greeted at the gates of Heaven by his father, Paul Fox; stepfather, Bill Acuff; maternal grandparents, Roy and Mattie Ann Borum; and by a number of aunts, uncles and cousins from the Borum and Fox families.  Left on earth are relatives and friends who will dearly miss him with none more than his beloved mother, Edna Acuff; an aunt Phyllis Fox Stump of Richmond, VA; a number of cousins; a very special friend, Sarah Roberts of Knoxville; his office staff of many years, Amanda Barry and Tami Sheldon; former wife, Debra Prince Fox; stepmother, Joyce Hepler-Fox; stepbrother, Chris Hepler; and stepsister, Jeanne (Mark) Kuhlo of Franklin, TN. Tim had a very special friend, Eddie Moss, from Choudrant, Louisiana, who was his “study buddy” in optometry school; and, last but certainly not least, a plethora of patients he ministered to for 38 years. Tim was fond of his Amedisys home health team.  The care provided to him while in the Critical Care unit at Parkwest Hospitable the past two weeks was phenomenal (special thanks Yvette!).

Friends may pay their respect and express their love and sympathy by visiting Premier Sharp Funeral Home In Oliver Springs on Friday, December 10, 2021, between the hours of 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm with a service to honor Tim’s life at 7:00 pm led by Dr. Steve McDonald, one of Tim’s former (and favorite) high school teachers. Music will be provided by Bruce Gouge, a local minister of music who was also Tim’s classmate and patient. The service will be broadcast on FaceBook live by Sharp’s.   Tim’s final resting place will be in the Garden of Love (how appropriate!) at Oak Ridge Memorial Park at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 11, 2021. 

Premier Sharp Funeral Home is proud to be serving the Fox Family. 



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Tim, please visit our floral store.


December 10, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Premier Sharp Funeral Home
209 Roane Street
Oliver Springs, TN 37840

Funeral Service
December 10, 2021

7:00 PM
Premier Sharp Funeral Home
209 Roane Street
Oliver Springs, TN 37840

Graveside Service
December 11, 2021

11:00 AM
Oak Ridge Memorial Park
1501 Bethel Valley Road
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

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