John Robert Fisher passed away in the early morning hours April 24, 2018 surrounded by loved ones.
He was born April 16, 1957 in Oregon City, Oregon to parents Ramona Alires & Jack Fisher. Although his parents eventually divorced, he spent time with them both. Time spent with his dad & gramps was filled with commercial gillnet fishing, boat building, and scrapping - the stories are amazing & endless; there are simply too many to try to share. As a child, John enjoyed lying across his beloved mother's lap & getting his back rubbed while watching her favorites, Elvis movies & The Dean Martin Show. Another favorite of his time spent with mom was camping at the ocean in Pacific City. He was the youngest and quite a mama's boy.
John attended school at Cleveland High School in SE Portland and excelled at football, but an injury & knee surgery made him reconsider pursuing the sport. Although school work was not his strongest attribute; hard work definitely was.
In October of 1984, John married Georgene (Gigi) Hangland and they had two beautiful children during their 20-year marriage. John spent over half of his life juggling the careers of gillnet fishing and fiber lineman. After his gramps & father passed, he eventually sold his fishing permit in 2003 & stopped commercial fishing; it just wasn't the same for him after that. As with most construction work, John's lineman career required travel. He worked in and "built" cities & towns all over the PNW and California. In 2002, John found himself working in Wenatchee for NorthSky Communications - he and his crew, stayed at the Red Lion for a long period of time. John met Dani there as she was the HR Director and some of John’s crew were not the most well-behaved hotel guests; feel free to use your imagination there. :) John & Dani crossed paths many times at work, eventually became friends, and that ultimately turned into a long-lasting relationship. When speaking about his work travels, he often said "Wenatchee is the only town I ever wanted to come back to." John secured a position in the Fiber Optics department at the Chelan County PUD in January of 2005 and was able to spend the remainder of his working years without having to travel. John & Dani made a home together in 2005 and eventually married on March 28, 2009.
John had a teacher's heart; he was willing to help people in any way he could, but he was also eager to teach them how to do it - the right way. He excelled at his fiber career, he was great at working on cars, loved his motorcycles, and did beautiful woodwork. He was also a pretty great fisherman for over half of his life; his buddies who got drug along for fishing trips can attest to his teacher's heart. Those poor guys learned whether they wanted to or not!
John was a big man with a booming voice & some found him to be intimidating or rough around the edges. But, once you got to know him, you quickly realized he was a roughneck with angel wings. He loved children and dogs & he had the patience of a saint. Life was not always easy on him, but he always chose to forgive, pick up the pieces or start over, and keep moving forward no matter what he was faced with. John was famous for his "whistle talk" and for being a story teller - it seemed he had a story to tell about almost everyone - and when he got to laughing out loud at himself, you couldn't help but join him.
John had a few one-liners he used ALOT. If you are ever driving along the Columbia Gorge through Hood River, look overhead at the downguide right next to a big billboard between milepost 60 & 61. Maybe we can all help John keep an eye out for the vice grips he left there in the summer of 1996. He never drove past without looking up to see if they were still there and he’d say, "A man's gotta know where his tools are."
He could also often be heard saying, "If it were easy, everyone would be doing it." He showed us how strong he was over and over again, but particularly over the past six months while he battled cancer. It was definitely not easy for him, but he never gave up & never let it get the best of him.
John was happiest spending time with family & friends, working with his hands, being on the water, and being in the air; whether on a pole or up in a bucket truck. He knew where he was going when he left here and you can seek comfort in the knowledge that you will see him again in Heaven.
John is survived by his wife Danielle "Dani" Fisher, daughter Jessica Rae Fisher, son Jack Ronald Fisher, two step-children Gracie Marie Patrick & Riley James Patrick, sister Amy Smith, brother Joseph Fisher, brother Yusef Alires, and his precious Mini Australian Shepard Gus. He is also survived by numerous cousins and lifelong friends who he considered his extended family.
He was preceded in death by his Father Jack Fisher, Mother Ramona “big Mona” Alires, Sister Ramona “lil Mona” Ferguson, Cousin William "Randy" Shaffer, and his beloved Cousin Leslie "BooBoo" Garth.
Two celebration of life events are scheduled:
Saturday, May 5th, 2018 @ 4:00 PM
Red Lion Hotel on the river – Janzen Beach
909 N. Hayden Island Drive
Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 @ 4:00 PM
Red Lion Hotel Wenatchee
1225 N. Wenatchee Ave
The family invites you to join them for “happy hour” style food and social time immediately following each program.
In keeping with John's desire for others to learn & better themselves, the family has established a scholarship account for high school seniors who are committed to attending line school in pursuit of a lineman/linewoman career. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a financial contribution to this fund. Donations can be made directly to Dani Fisher or at one of events mentioned above.
Arrangements are by Heritage Memorial Chapel www.HeritageMemorialChapel.Com.