Jane Lewis Fox, a retired social worker and longtime leader in local and national Welsh-American groups, died Wednesday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center of complications from pneumonia. She was 86.
A Baltimore native, she had lived most recently in Towson. Her father, the Rev. William Lewis, was a Methodist minister who immigrated to Baltimore from Wales, and her mother, the former Mabel North, was a city teacher whose father and grandfather were sea captains.
Mrs. Fox earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Goucher College in 1942 and began a 51-year career as a social worker. She spent her early years doing child welfare and foster care work in Washington.
She later worked with the elderly at the Gettysburg Lutheran Home and for more than 15 years with the Baltimore County Department of Aging, retiring from the county in 1993 at age 71.
Mrs. Fox took great pride in her Welsh heritage, said her daughter, Sarah Fox of Towson. "It's a very strong culture," the daughter said. "A lot of people don't realize that it has a language and a culture all of its own."
She said that her mother took Welsh language courses, participated in local and national Welsh singing festivals, and was a long-standing member of the Women's Welsh Club of Baltimore.
"We always sang as a family, hymns and folk songs, all kinds of things," Sarah Fox said.
Mrs. Fox also revived the Baltimore St. David's Society, an organization her father had founded to represent the Welsh community at area ethnic and cultural festivals, her daughter said.
After she retired, Mrs. Fox and her husband, Robert W. Fox, a lawyer and World War II veteran, traveled extensively to Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, California, Wales and Germany.
They were members of Zion Lutheran Church in Baltimore for 28 years. Mrs. Fox was a Sunday school teacher and Girl Scout leader and was active in the Goucher Alumni Association.
Her daughter said she loved flowers and filled albums with pictures of flowers she took on trips.
A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday at Zion Lutheran Church, 400 E. Lexington St.
In addition to her husband of 52 years and her daughter, she is survived by three other daughters, Ruth Fox of Baltimore; Amalia Darling of Richmond, Calif.; and Carrie Fox of Borth, Wales; and three grandchildren.