David Pearson Fischer of Wiscasset passed away at sunset on June 7, 2019 surrounded by his family. He had suffered a stroke earlier in the week and was being cared for at Maine Medical Center.
He was born on May 13, 1944 in Newark, New Jersey and was the adopted son of Francis and Leona Fischer. He grew up in Chatham, New Jersey where he graduated from Chatham High School. In 1965 he graduated from Colby College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English and discovered his lifelong love for the state of Maine.
Beginning in 1967, he spent 35 years teaching English at Wiscasset High School. He coached track and field, boys’ soccer, and the majority of his coaching time was spent with the Wiscasset girls’ soccer team. He was affectionately referred to as “Fisch” by his students and friends throughout his career and beyond. Through his teaching he made meaningful and positive connections with his students across multiple generations. He had a keen sense of fairness and a gift for finding and bringing out the best in everyone. With students, colleagues and friends, he was generous with his knowledge, quick with his wit, and at times pointed with his sarcasm. Through it all he made those around him feel like they were singularly important.
As a teenager in the ’60s, he rode the train into New York City unbeknownst to his parents. There he managed to visit the clubs where John Coltrane, Miles Davis and numerous other jazz greats played. He turned up the volume to Van Morrison, Tina Turner, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, many Motown musicians, and so many more. A passionate and voracious reader, he was always ready with recommendations which influenced many personal libraries, particularly those of his family. He was an accomplished gardener and cultivated a legacy garden of rhododendron, conifers and Japanese maples. People walking in his Wiscasset neighborhood enjoyed the beauty of his gardens. Among his many greenhouse projects were alpine cyclamen raised from seed including a unique hybrid that found its way to the National Arboretum.
He was also known for his indulgent love of his cats. Preceding him in death were Barnabus, Silas, Al Velour, Mel Katz, Charlotte, Anthony and his beloved Willie Cat. Surviving him are Francine and Eliot.
In 2007 he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. At the time of his death, his cancer was in complete remission due in large part to the excellent care, compassion and friendship of Dr. G. Richard Polkinghorn and the staff at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta.
David is survived by his wife of 42 years, Cynthia (Merritt) Fischer of Wiscasset; his sister, Virginia “Dinny” Noten of Bonita Springs, Florida; his daughter, Jenny Self and her husband Darold of Duncan, South Carolina; his three sons, Chris Fischer and his wife Kristen of Naples, Florida, Andrew Fischer and his wife Liz of Folly Beach, South Carolina, and Matt Fischer and his wife Jami of Concord, North Carolina; his stepson, Ben Green of Boston, Massachusetts; his stepdaughter, Susannah Green and her husband Tim Young of South Portland, Maine. He is also survived by his grandchildren Rebecca, Amy, Adam, Alex, Reese, Hannah, Miranda, Riley, Ellison, Eli, Iris, Bret, Bailey, Lauren, Aoife, and Cotton, and six great-grandchildren Caden, Jacksen, McKenna, Abree, Harrison, and Rowen. Another great-granddaughter is coming in the fall.
As they raise their own families his children now find themselves remembering and emulating a man larger than life, an inspiration for finding things in this world to create as artists and to be passionate about, to be thoughtful about and to question while taking time every day to reflect upon the kindness and compassion that their father exemplified in his own life with an astonishing intellect, humility and humor.
His grandchildren and great-grandchildren will remember him as a loving and proud grandfather who appreciated and encouraged each child’s individuality and interests.
A memorial gathering is planned for later in the summer. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, Midcoast Humane or The Southern Poverty Law Center.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com