Donald FoggJanuary 6, 2018
Donald Fogg, lifelong Albuquerque resident and former owner of Fogg’s Finer Jewelry, a Duke City retail institution for more than 80 years, died January 6. He was 88.
Donald was born March 11, 1929, at the Women and Children’s Hospital downtown, the only child of Frank David “F.D.” Fogg and Stella Scruggs Fogg. F.D. Fogg, a watchmaker, had founded the jewelry store on Central Avenue in 1921 after running part of a combination apothecary, optician’s shop and jewelry store for two years.
Donald first attended Lew Wallace Elementary, then Monte Vista Elementary, Jefferson Junior High School and Albuquerque High School (class of 1947). In 1951, he graduated with a business administration degree from the University of New Mexico, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity.
Donald was destined to follow his father’s footsteps: he had sold his first wristwatch and ruby cocktail ring when he was 8 years old. After school and on weekends he worked at the jewelry store running errands, repairing Big Ben alarm clocks, and manning the sales floor. But first came service in the Army. In Germany he was part of the Counter Intelligence Corps examining records to find one-time Nazis.
In 1953 he married Sarah Helen “Sally” Harrison. The newlyweds said their vows at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church downtown, and then after a honeymoon at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs they headed to Europe so Donald could complete his military service. For a time they lived in an apartment in Stuttgart, Germany, above a sausage shop, and they traveled to Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy.
Upon returning to the States the Foggs settled back in Albuquerque and Donald began working again at the family jewelry store. By then it was located on the “Sunshine Corner” – at Second and Central in the Sunshine Building. To this day the “Fogg’s” name is cemented in mosaic tile under the portal there.
Fogg’s opened a second jewelry store, in the new Winrock Shopping Center, in the early 1960s. Donald took over the reins of the stores from his father in 1962.
Donald took great pleasure in offering unparalleled service to customers. They came in just to see him. He stayed late or came in on days the store was closed to show a piece of jewelry. He personally delivered rings and watches to customers. He insisted on a high-quality appearance for the stores. He swept the sidewalk in front of the downtown store daily. He regularly polished the stores’ fine wood cabinets. He used great care and precision in wrapping gifts. He delighted in having creative store windows designed by his longtime employee and friend Lynn Daily.
In 1980, the downtown and Winrock stores merged into one in a location in Uptown Albuquerque. Daughter Ellen (now Ellen Fogg Kersh) followed in his footsteps of the jewelry business, joining him in 1983 after she graduated from UNM. Together they shared the responsibilities of a cherished business for more than 20 years until deciding to close the store in 2005.
Donald sold the family home in 2010 and moved into the Woodmark assisted living center close to Winrock. From the top floor he could see his beloved Sandia Mountains rising to the east.
As a boy he discovered one of his lifelong passions: he loved to wander. He walked to school (across Central!), worrying his “fraidy cat” mother; as a boy he walked around downtown to run errands for his father, or he stopped at the Sunshine, State, Kimo or Lobo theaters to take in a show. As he awaited Army orders for Europe, he took the train from New Jersey to New York every day for weeks and walked around Manhattan. One Sunday he and Sally woke up the children and told them they were going on a surprise day trip – to Mount Rushmore. He visited Moscow and Kiev during the Cold War, his curiosity perhaps piqued by his day in the Counter Intelligence Corps.
The family went on summer vacations to California, Seattle, Yellowstone National Park, Boston and New York. During vacations, Donald often stopped to talk with fellow jewelers at family-owned stores.
Donald and Sally belonged to Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church for more than 50 years. Donald served as an usher at the Sunday noon Mass for 20 years.
To his dying day Donald was a gentleman with a sunny disposition and a twinkle in his eye. He loved driving his kids around town, perhaps to marvel at the elk in front of the Elks Club or to stop at the Alvarado Hotel to see the Super Chief pull in. When he took the bus to work, he could usually be heard whistling as he walked home from the bus stop. To the end he graciously kissed ladies’ hands. He often said “shake, Jake” when greeting a friend, and he frequently ended conversations with a heartfelt “thanks a million.” For decades he began his day with a bowl of Wheat Chex cereal and an orange as he pored over the Albuquerque Journal and the Wall Street Journal.
Too late to develop another career, Donald got a cameo role in episode 5 of the first (2015) season of the cable TV show “Better Call Saul.” The camera captures him being wheeled across a room full of senior citizens as a zither plays the theme song from the 1949 Orson Welles movie “The Third Man.” Coincidentally, “The Third Man” was one of Donald’s favorite movies.
Sally (“Sal Soda”) died in 2001. He is survived by daughter Ellen (Eugene), by sons Alan (Victoria) and Thomas (Jean), and by nine grandchildren: Andrew and Stephen Kersh; Spencer, Alexandra, Caroline and Julia Fogg; and Emily, Amelia and Peter Fogg. Donald’s son Daniel died in 1980.
The Fogg family says “thanks a million” to the entire staff of the Woodmark for their loving service during the seven years Donald lived there. The family also thanks the nurses and doctors of Hospice of New Mexico for their care in the last months of his life.
Visitation will be from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, January 11, 2018 at FRENCH - University. A rosary will be offered at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, January 12, 2018 at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 4020 Lomas Boulevard NE, with a reception to follow at the French Reception Center adjacent to the funeral home.
Flowers should be sent to FRENCH-University. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) or to a favorite charity in Donald’s name.