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After more than 60 years of service, Fox, O’Neill, & Shannon, S.C. founder and senior shareholder William F. Fox died at age 87 on December 10, 2023 at his home in Fox Point, Wisconsin.

The loss is great, to FOS, the legal profession, and the community.

From the day he founded FOS in 1962, less than one year after receiving his law degree from Marquette University Law School, to his last appearance mere days before his passing, Bill came to work every day with one purpose—to provide the highest quality legal services to the firm’s clients.

Bill specialized in representing privately held businesses in a variety of industries, including soft drink bottling and distribution, light manufacturing, real estate development, franchising and advertising. One of Bill’s unique talents was his recognition that a business entity is only as successful as the individuals within it. Bill’s emphasis on individual relationships extended to business clients’ succession planning and generational transitions, through which Bill guided the children and even the grandchildren of the founders of a client business.

Another of Bill’s unique talents was his intuitive understanding of which new areas of business opportunities could reap benefits for the firm’s clients. In addition to participating in the creation of the first non-reservation trust land in the United States, Bill represented the first management entity for the Potawatomi Casino.

Bill never touted his own legal victories. His nature was to celebrate others, not himself. Talent and accomplishments, however, can’t be kept quiet forever, as The Wisconsin Law Journal acknowledged in naming Bill as a 2015 Leader in the Law.

“Almost” as important to Bill as his clients was the firm he founded. FOS is unique, in that it reflects the coming together of a small group of well-matched attorneys to provide quality legal services, while making significant community contributions and maintaining full personal lives. Bill’s spirit will live on in FOS’s continued exercise of its motto—”our clients come first.”

Bill’s professional success was matched only by his unrivaled civic and community contributions. Since 1968, Bill served on the board of, and has provided pro bono legal services for, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. At his death, he was its longest-serving Board member. In recognition of his outstanding community involvement and service to Milwaukee’s children, Bill received the Club’s MVP “Most Valuable Person” award and was inducted into the Club’s Hall of Fame.

Bill was also a past-chairman and past-director of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Wisconsin’s largest community trust. Bill also served on the boards of many nonprofit organizations, including the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Milwaukee County Research Park, National Center for Housing Management (Washington, D.C.), Milwaukee Art Museum, Circus World Museum, and Great Circus Parade.

Bill was a legal and charitable treasure for FOS, the legal community, and the State of Wisconsin. We at FOS miss him dearly. We can think of no better way to honor him than to continue to serve our clients as Bill did, providing the highest quality legal services under the utmost ethical standards.