Josephine Smith Fox, 92, a volunteer and founder of the aquatic therapy program for disabled people at the Alexandria YMCA, died of pneumonia Sept. 16 at Reston Hospital.
Mrs. Fox, who lived in Great Falls, was born in Upstate New York and had lived in the Washington area since 1940. She studied English literature at George Washington University and she did research at the Folger Library. She studied ceramics at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and became an accomplished potter.
In 1940, she married Derek Fox, who later became art director of U.S. News & World Report. He died in 1979.
Mrs. Fox was a pioneer in developing swimming as therapy for the disabled. She founded the aquatic therapy program at the Alexandria YMCA in the 1960s and served as director of programs for the handicapped. In 1974, she instituted a similar program at the Fairfax County YWCA for adults needing physical therapy for strokes, injuries and chronic diseases. At the Fairfax YWCA, she was director of special education aquatic classes and adaptive swimming.
She was the first woman to serve as director of the Northern Virginia Regional Special Olympics swimming competition.
She also had volunteered for the Red Cross and for Providence Hospital.
Her honors included a 1979 award for outstanding service from the Northern Virginia Association for Retarded Citizens, a 1979 Outstanding Community Service Award from the Volunteer Action Center of Metropolitan Washington and a 1981 award for outstanding service from Women in Community Service. In 1987, she was recognized as one of Washingtonian magazine's Women of the Year.
There are no immediate survivors.