Russell Lee Fisher, Sr., aged 94, of Thurmont, MD died peacefully Saturday, April 28th, 2018 at Gettysburg Hospital. Born February 7th, 1924 in Rocky Ridge, MD he was the son of the late Russell Cornelius Fisher and Sylvia Jenny Crawford Fisher. He was the husband of the late Reva Belle Fraley Fisher for more than 55 years.
He was raised and worked on the family farm on Appolds Road in Rocky Ridge. He was a graduate of Emmitsburg High School's Class of 1941. He served in the Army Air Corps in World War II in the Atlantic Theater as flight engineer on a B-17 crew based in Kimbolten, England. He attained the rank of Master Sergeant. He and his crew completed more than 20 combat missions over Germany, and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions that involved climbing into the open bomb bay to manually release half-suspended ordinance. This action allowed the bomb bay doors to close which permitted the plane to land safely.
When he returned from the war he married his sweetheart, Reva, and they moved to Philadelphia so he could attend the Eckels School of Mortuary Science (now a part of Temple University) on the GI Bill. Upon returning to Thurmont he spent time working at the Thurmont Shoe Company, the Sears Roebuck Company in Frederick, and doing home construction. He then began a career in scientific research in the top secret labs at Fort Detrick. He progressed to lab supervisor and retired in 1973.
He was a charter member of the American Legion Edwin C. Creeger Jr. Post 168 in Thurmont, MD, and remained active for over 70 years, serving as Post Commander and later Post Adjutant for many years. He served as Commander for the American Legion at the county and district levels, and then as Commander of the Department of Maryland 1987-1988. He later served on the National Executive Committee representing Maryland. He and Reva contributed many hours to the projects of the American Legion and Auxiliary. He was a founder of Camp WestMar, a project of the Western Maryland Legion District; he enjoyed his weeks being the camp's 'head cook'. Later he spearheaded the formation of the Carlos P. Englar, Jr. Scholarship Program of Post 168 for students of Catoctin High School.
He was a driving force in the establishment of the Thurmont Volunteer Ambulance Company and served as an early driver. He enjoyed sports, and played on the Thurmont Baseball Team in the 1950s. Later he was one of the four original coaches for the Thurmont Little League. He was a member for several years of the Thurmont Lions Club. He was a long-time member of Graceham Moravian Church, and was at the time of his death the eldest member.
He is survived by his daughter, S. Ann Fisher Miller and husband Earl of Creagerstown, and his daughter-in-law Paula D. Fisher of Smithsburg. His grandchildren include E. David Miller of Frederick; Sarah A. Smith and husband Jason of Waynesboro, PA; Nathan P. Fisher and wife Shanna of Martinsburg, WV; and Michael Lee Fisher and wife Alison of Maugansville. His great-grandchildren are Alexis Belle Smith, Madelyn Lee Smith, and Katherine Leigh Fisher. He is also survived by his youngest sibling, Doris C. Mercer of Annapolis and his sister-in law Donna F. Fisher of Thurmont and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews across the country.
He was pre-deceased by his son, Russell "Rusty" Lee Fisher, Jr., as well as his siblings Mae Moser, George Fisher, Lloyd Fisher, Ruth Valentine, Donald Fisher, Irene Miller, and Ralph Fisher. He will also be remembered by his niece/caregiver Dottie F. Favorite.
Visitation will be held at Graceham Moravian Church, at 8231A Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont, starting at 12pm on May 5th, 2018. At 2pm Post 168 will conduct a brief tribute, followed by funeral services officiated by Pastor Sue Koenig. Internment will follow at the Blue Ridge Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to the Carlos P. Englar, Jr. Scholarship Fund, ℅ Post 168 at 8 Park Lane in Thurmont.
Russell's care has been entrusted to Black's Funeral Home of Thurmont.