NORWAY — Cold, blustery and dark it was, as Debra Partridge put it — the kind of weather Bruce Fox met with a grin for the better part of two decades. 

Fox, a longtime volunteer worker for the Norway Recreation Park, was honored Friday evening in a ceremony at the ice rink on Cottage Street, where he once devoted his winter mornings. 

Dubbed the “Iceman” and known for his dedicated volunteerism, charm and gregariousness, Fox, 64, passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 30, 2014. 

In the time since his death, the town, co-workers, friends and family alike have paid tribute to his memory, sparking elected officials to do something done only rarely: name a town facility in someone’s memory. 

Unveiled before a crowd of 70, steam issuing from the crowd huddled close together, Partridge, the Recreation Department director, held aloft a sign which read, “Bruce Fox Memorial Ice Rink.” 

“I’ve had people come up to me and say he was like a brother or father to them,” Partridge said. “He meant so much to so many people.” 

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Fox maintained the ice rink since 1994, using his makeshift custom “Zamboni” to resurface the ice in a slush formula he specially devised. Every year, the Fire Department would flood the rink from a nearby hydrant. From there, it was Fox’s job to groom the ice. 

It was a job he did well, checking up on the ice at 2 a.m. before his morning commute to Maine Machine Products Co. and popping in at the end of the day to watch the kids have fun, Paris resident and current rink caretaker Chuck Truman said. 

“Bruce had a lot of what I’d call old-school values,” Truman said. “He was easygoing and loved things, like ice skating, that stand the test of time. You don’t need to be hooked up to a screen and it’s just as fun now as it (has ever been).” 

Part of the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, in between escapades on the ice, children and parents darted indoors, where snacks, popcorn and hot chocolate were served. 

“(The cold) was the discussion a few days ago, but we laughed,” Partridge said. “Bruce must have ordered this.” 

ccrosby@sunmediagroup.net 

 


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