Lafayette – A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Lafayette, Louisiana for David H. Fisher, Sr., 95, who passed away Monday, September 27, 2021. Visitation will be held at Delhomme Funeral Home located at 1011 Bertrand Drive in Lafayette on Friday, October 1, 2021 from 2:00 PM until 8:00 PM. A Rosary will be recited by Reverend Andrew Killeen at 6:30 Friday evening in the funeral home. Visitation will resume Saturday at 8:00 a.m. until the time of service.
Interment will be at Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery in Lafayette.
Reverend Bryce Sibley, Professor of Moral Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and former Pastor of Our Lady of Wisdom, will conduct funeral services. The Concelebrants will be Reverend Jay Alexius, Reverend Andrew Killeen, and Reverend Mario Romero.
David H. Fisher was born in the small oilfield community of Evangeline in Jefferson Davis Parish on December 12, 1925. After his mother passed away when he was 10 years old, he and his sister went to live with their grandparents in Jennings, where he grew up near aunts, uncles, and cousins, which helped shape him into such a strong family man.
Upon graduation from Jennings High School in 1943, Dr. Fisher enlisted in the Army Aviation Cadet Program. He underwent basic training, radio school, specialty B-29 radio school, and flight training. For the remaining duration of World War II, he was stationed in Guam and served as a member of the 39th Bomb Group, 62nd Squadron, in the 314th Bomb Wing. During this time, he flew on 22 combat missions within the Pacific Theatre.
When Dr. Fisher returned home, he met the love of his life, Shirley Rhodes, during a chance visit to Houma. Both were students at SLI (presently the University of Louisiana at Lafayette), and they dated throughout Dr. Fisher’s college years while Shirley taught second grade in Houma.
Dr. Fisher was the president of his fraternity, Sigma Pi Alpha (the forerunner of Kappa Sigma), president of the Men’s Student Government Association, a member of SLI’s track team, and a member of SLI’s football team. In track, Dr. Fisher was the co-captain of the team who established and held school and conference records in low hurdles for many years; he also ran in the 1948 Olympic trials in Evanston, Illinois. In football, Dr. Fisher was the captain of the team, led the conference in scoring, was named Outstanding Player of the Year in 1950, and was inducted into the SLI Athletic Hall of Fame. He was named Outstanding Male Graduate for the class of 1950 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education.
After graduation, Dr. Fisher was drafted by the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Colts. He turned down those offers so that he could move to Jennings, coach football at Jennings High School, and marry Shirley on August 5, 1950. While living in Jennings, Dr. Fisher and Shirley welcomed four children, Susan, Sharon, Sandra, and David Jr. During this time, Dr. Fisher obtained his Master of Education in Physical Education from LSU.
In the late 1950s, Dr. Fisher accepted a teaching position at USL, and the Fishers moved to Lafayette, where they built their family home on Antigua Drive and welcomed three more children, Shelly, Lindsey, and Stacy. While Dr. Fisher taught at USL, Shirley began an in-home kindergarten that evolved into Fisher Early Childhood Development Center.
At USL, Dr. Fisher taught classes in the physical education department, including kinesiology, and served as the Director of the Men’s Intramural Program. Over the years, he served as chairman of the Athletic Committee, worked with the Alumni Association in its beginning stages, directed the summer tennis clinics, and directed the Southwestern Relays. During this time, he obtained his PhD in Physical Education from LSU and wrote his dissertation on the correlation between how physical exercise and gross motor skills enhance a child’s cognitive development and academic readiness. Dr. Fisher spent several more years teaching at USL and serving as the Director of the Motor Development Clinic before retiring in 1974 and going to work alongside Shirley at Fisher Early Childhood Development Center.
USL honored Dr. Fisher with the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1980. In 1982-1983, Dr. Fisher served as the president of the Alumni Association. Then, in 2012, he was honored for that service at the UL Alumni Association’s Spring Gala.
Dr. Fisher remained active at the schools, working at both the original Fisher’s location on Ridge Road and second location on E. Farrel Road. Many of his and Shirley’s children took part in the family-run business. Dr. Fisher shared Shirley’s passion for early childhood education and was endearingly referred to as “Uncle David” by students. He only retired from working at the schools after Shirley’s health declined, at which point he cared for her at home.
Dr. Fisher’s hobbies included hosting or attending family gatherings; traveling with his family, including taking yearly trips to Grand Isle and many trips in the motorhome to go skiing or visit the mountains; officiating local high school football games; playing basketball and tennis; tailgating at and attending UL sporting events; attending reunions with the 39th Bomb Group; and being involved with the National World War II Museum.
He left an indelible mark on his community. He was incredibly humble, gentle, kind, and sincere. Others were drawn to his warmth. Colleagues, employees, college and pre-school students, neighbors, nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren, friends, and countless others were forever changed by being loved by him.
Despite his many professional achievements, the most important thing in the world to Dr. Fisher was his wife and family, which he viewed as God’s plan fulfilled. He believed his life was defined by being a husband, father, and grandfather. His deep devotion to Shirley was evident in his care for her during her final years. As a Daddy and Pawpaw, he was incredibly close to all his children and grandchildren, who cherished his calming spirit and considered him the best man they have ever known.
Dr. Fisher is survived by his seven children, Susan Elizabeth Fisher, Sharon Fisher O’Neill (Shawn), Sandra Fisher, David Henry Fisher Jr. (Nanette), Shelly Fisher Romero (Kenneth), Lindsey John Fisher (Rosalind), and Stacy Fisher Brown (Mark); eighteen grandchildren, JoAllison Rodriguez (Joe Henry), Nicole Fusilier, Kori Schexnayder (John), Kaitlyn Bourgeois (Christine), Ian O’Neill, Mason Fisher, Evan Fisher, Reed Fisher, Mary Kathryn Hayes (Luke), Jordan Romero, AnneMarie Romero, Joseph Romero, Nicholas Fisher (Cady), Harrison Fisher, Rebecca Fisher, Jonathan Fisher, Camille Brown, and Claire Brown; fourteen great-grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John Henry Fisher Jr. and Venice Leger Fisher; his wife of 65 years, Shirley Rhodes Fisher; his grandson, Ty Zammit; his sister, Yvonne Fisher Miller; and his two infant brothers.
Pallbearers will be Ian O’Neill; Nicholas, Harrison, and Jonathan Fisher; Jordan and Joseph Romero; and Mason, Evan, and Reed Fisher. Honorary pallbearers will be Shawn O’Neill, Kenneth Romero, Mark Brown, John Schexnayder, Joe Henry Rodriguez, Luke Hayes, and Michael Savoy.
The Fisher Family extends its gratitude for the compassionate care given by Quinterria Senegal, nurse Leslie Carrere with Nursing Specialties, Dr. Geoffrey Mire, and Hospice of Acadiana. They would also like to acknowledge the thoughtful support extended by Grace Hebert, close family friends, adopted cousins, Antigua Drive neighbors, and doctors who have cared for him over the last several years, including Dr. John Mickey, Dr. David Foreman, and Dr. David Allie.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dr. David H. Fisher, Sr., may be contributed to the UL Lafayette Alumni Association or a charity of your choice.
Personal condolences may be sent to the Fisher family at www.delhommefuneralhome.com
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