Share |
thumb

Lee Edward Fisher

05-02-1918 to 09-09-2019

 

 Linn County News

Published Sept. 11, 2019

 

In the weeks following Pearl Harbor, as the U.S. prepared to go to war, Lee Fisher enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was hustled through their officer training course –  a “90-day wonder,” as they called it. When he passed away this week at age 101, peacefully, in his sleep, he was a wonder of a different sort.

Asked on his 100th birthday how he managed to live to such a remarkable age, Lee replied, “Moderation. In all things.”

Lee was born May 2, 1918, in Pleasanton, Kan., the only son of Ruth and William Fisher. He graduated from Mound City Rural High School in Mound City, Kan., in 1935 as class salutatorian. There is a good chance that he said more in his speech than most of his classmates had heard him say all term long. He was a sweet, thoughtful man who listened more than he spoke – yet, the words he chose to share with the world were always worth hearing. 

Lee moved to Colorado in 1937, attending DU and graduating with a B.A. in business administration. He was studying engineering at the Colorado School of Mines when the war broke out. Engineers of Lee’s evident skills were prized by the U.S. Navy, and following his officer’s training at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., they wasted no time sending Ensign Fisher to GM University in Illinois to learn large-scale landing craft engines (they’d eventually play a part in the Normandy Invasion). He was quickly promoted to lieutenant and posted to Pacific Fleet headquarters, Coronado, Calif.

Among his duties were maintenance and logistics, which often took him across the bay to the navy offices in San Diego. It was there he met the love of his life. 

Jean Stalnaker was in the secretarial pool; she’d see Lee when he came to meet with one of her bosses.

 “She made it so that I’d get her phone number,” said Lee.

She wrote it on a piece of paper, and had one of the guys give it to him. He called her, and they hit it off.

Jean lived in San Diego, in a house overlooking the bay. As Lee told it, “In those days, you took a ferry to get back and forth from Coronado. Either that, or you drove 25 miles down the coast to Imperial Beach and back up the Coronado peninsula to get to the base.” Lee would laugh to think of the times he stayed a bit too long pitching woo on Jean’s front porch, only to find himself making that long drive back to his quarters.

He may have occasionally missed the ferry, but he surely didn’t miss the boat. In September 1944 he saved up his gas rations, and he and Jean headed for Las Vegas. There, in the Little White Wedding Chapel, they were married. They remained so for 66 happy years, until Jean passed in 2010.

Lee’s first job post-war was for Sears, in Santa Monica. His boss left a lot to be desired. “Everything that went wrong was my fault, including things he did wrong.” His mom’s cousin put him in touch with a gasoline distributor in Oceanside, and he and Jean moved south. That was more to his liking, and he began learning the trade. When he was given the opportunity to take over the Ace Hi Service Station in Wheat Ridge, Colo., he jumped at it. He survived early gas wars – the prices dropped to pennies per gallon! – and countless giveaway promotions of steak knives, matching tumblers and kiddie toys. He built a reputation for honesty and mechanical skill, earning a loyal clientele that served him well, until his retirement in 1973.

Lee and Jean kept a cabin in Evergreen, Colo., roaming through the woods with one of a series of beloved bulldogs. He honed his talents as a woodworker, making furniture and toys for his nephews’ children and his godsons. His favorite hobby was restoring classic Thunderbirds; he had three over the years, which made those grown-up nephews and godsons incredibly jealous.

Lee was a remarkable man. He radiated sweetness, warmth and good humor. His words were few. His impact on those lucky enough to know him, immeasurable. He will be deeply mourned and greatly missed.

Lee is survived by niece Laura, nephew Neil Stalnaker (Nancy), nephew Mike Pitts (Ann), and fondly remembered by godsons Sean and Schuyler Cayton. 

Visitation is 6 p.m.  Monday, Sept. 16. Services are at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17. Both are at Crown Hill Mortuary, 7777 West 29th, Wheat Ridge, Colo. The service will be held in the Tower of Memories, where he’ll be laid to rest.

OBITUARIES

Karen Joyce Hughes Kidwell 09-09-1948 to 09-10-2021

thumb

    Published in the Linn County News   Karen Joyce Hughes Kidwell, 73, of Linn Valley, Kan. passed away September 10th at her home. She was born Sept. 9, 1948 in Kansas City, Kan. She was a graduate of Shawnee Mission North High School, Bethany Hospital... [More]

Leota Vondell Burris 08-30-1936 to 09-09-21

thumb

    Linn County News Published Sept. 15, 2021   Leota Vondell Burris, age 85, Mound City, Kan., passed away on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.  She was born in Marceline, Mo., on Aug. 30, 1936, the daughter of Thomas B. and Estel A. Watson Adams. She... [More]

Janet (Brown) Maschino 03-29-1957 to 09-09-2021

thumb

    Linn County News Published Sept. 15, 2021   Janet (Brown) Maschino, 64, of rural Pleasanton and Parsons, passed away peacefully at 3:13 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, at her daughter’s home in Erie. Janet’s story starts on March... [More]

More Obituaries

View All Obituaries

NEWS

New IRS plan in $3.5 trillion spending package opens consumer checking accounts to federal oversight

thumb

  By JACKIE TAYLOR Linn County News jackielcn@linncountynews.net   Consumers beware as President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package advances through Congress as much of the cost will come from new oversight on personal checking accounts. The oversight... [More]

Pleasanton to be FSCC trade school location

thumb

  Former Cox Motor Co. building, potential site for school By JACKIE TAYLOR Linn County News jackielcn@linncountynews.net   Entering executive session for data relating to partnerships, the Pleasanton City Council spent 50 minutes discussing a partnership... [More]

State withdraws plea offer on Martin case

thumb

  A hearing at Linn County District Court for 2019-CR-000210, State of Kansas versus Lonnie Shane Martin, was held Friday afternoon for a no go preliminary where Assistant County Attorney Justin Meeks informed District Judge Terri Johnson that the state was withdrawing... [More]

More News

SPORTS

Young ‘Hawks meet varsity tempo in opening loss

thumb

  It’s been a bumpy start to the 2021 season for Jayhawk-Linn’s football team. A roster with 19 underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) among its 32 members missed both their Aug. 27 home jamboree with Pleasanton and Erie because of COVID-19 and its scheduled... [More]

Prairie View cross country varsity girls earn first place at Fort Scott

thumb

  BY ADAM HOLT LINN COUNTY NEWS holtadam82@yahoo.com The Prairie View cross country teams traveled to Fort Scott on Sept. 9 to compete in the Fort Scott Invitational. The Buffalos again performed well as the varsity girls won as a team. Head Coach Marcie Caldwell... [More]

More Sports

OBITUARIES POLICY

• May be mailed, e-mailed, faxed or hand delivered.
• Must be received by 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning in order to appear in that week's edition.
• Full obituaries submitted by individuals are required to be paid in advance.
• Obituaries submitted by funeral homes will be billed to the funeral home.
• Cost: $30 for 300 words or less. Each additional word over 300, 10¢. Photograph $5.
Call Barbara at 913-352-6235 or e-mail reporter@linncountynews.net

PLEASANTON WEATHER