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Donald Dean Maddox

December 30, 1948 — March 2, 2024

State Line

Donald Dean Maddox

Donald Dean Maddox 12/30/1948 - 3/2/2024 ‘Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σίβυλλα τ θέλεις; respondebat illa: άποθανεîν θέλω.’

 Don Maddox passed away at the age of 75 on March 2nd, 2024, after a long struggle with illness, in his home in State Line, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his sister Sharon Richmond of Maryland, brother Ron Maddox and wife Carla or Pennsylvania, 3 children, John Maddox and wife Keenya of Pennsylvania, Victoria Maddox of Virginia, and Lauren Maddox of Iowa, as well as 4 grandchildren, Hunter, Sophia, Lucy, and James. Don passed quietly and peacefully listening to old Yankees’ games and holding his son’s hand.

 Don was born in Texas City, Texas and attended Texas A&M University and the University of Chicago. He began his career in education but wore many hats, including contract work for the government as well as the private sector, and a long stint with his passion, chess, as the editor of Chess Life magazine, correspondent for USA Today, and later as president of Chess Base USA. Well-traveled, Don spent extended periods of time living in Texas, Illinois, Israel, Virginia, Alabama, New Jersey, Colorado, and West Virginia before retiring to Pennsylvania in 2018 to live with his son’s family.

 Don enjoyed many hobbies, including baseball and other sports, history, literature, and poetry, but he discovered his true passion in his early twenties when he discovered the game of chess. He was lucky to have the opportunity to combine his passion with his career for many years, and luckier still to be able to combine two of his passions, chess, and education. Don joined the Wall High School faculty in Wall, New Jersey as chess coach in the early 90’s and led the team to the state championship and continued taking every opportunity to teach chess to students throughout the rest of his life.

 Memorial services are to be determined and will be communicated later. On behalf of Don, his family would appreciate donations to be made to charitable organizations promoting chess education, such as Chess in the Schools (

 My Dad was and always will be my hero; I owe so much of who I am today to his lessons and to his love. The hardest part of the last five years has been watching time and illness strip away from him almost everything he loved, but I am eternally grateful that we were given that time together and that he got to know his grandchildren better.

 - John D. Maddox ‘We have lingered in the chambers of the sea by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown. Till human voices wake us, and we drown.’

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