Two of our greatest generation bridge players passed away this year. We honor them together because in the last few years we rarely saw them apart. Ike and Thomas lived at the Carillon and played as partners in the Monday night game from its inception. In the beginning there were several Carillon players but by the end it was just the two of them—each having left and returned after several hospitalizations. They never lost their sense of humor and charm and were formidable opponents throughout. Learning about them from their obituaries makes many of us wish we had spent more time with them away from the table.
Israel "Ike" Markowitz was 99 when he passed away on January 26. He was born on January 13, 1921 in Pennsylvania. Ike was an officer in the Air Force and flew 35 missions over Germany and Eastern Europe during WWII. He also served in Vietnam before retiring in 1968. He received his B.S. from Brooklyn Polytech and his Master's and Doctorate from the University of Colorado and was a professor of Business Management at Metropolitan State College in Denver, CO. During retirement Ike traveled the world, watched sports, listened to music, read, and as we know, played bridge. He was known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit. He is survived by his three children and his six grandchildren.
Thomas Harry Fox was 92 at his death on May 19th. Interestingly, Tom was also from Pennsylvania, born there September 29, 1927. At 18, he joined the war effort serving in the US Army on the Panama Canal. He graduated from Penn State University in 1950 in Hotel Management. Tom started his career working in sales at US Steel Corporation. He and his wife Marietta were married in 1952 and celebrated their 10th anniversary in Aspen, CO with a ski vacation. They enjoyed it so much they made many subsequent trips to ski the Rocky Mountains. In the early 1970’s Tom switched from selling metal to selling stocks and bonds as a stockbroker with Smith Barney. Marietta passed away in 1996. After retiring, Tom moved to Aspen in 2004 at age 77 and volunteered as an Ambassador for the Aspen Ski Corporation. After 9 years in Aspen Tom moved to Boulder where we met him and enjoyed his company at the bridge table. He too was known for an infectious smile along with an exceptionally sharp mind and wit. Tom is survived by two sons, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.