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Delmar Fisher, 82

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Delmar Darwin Fisher - Joyful, Fun-Loving Husband, Father, and Grandfather.

"...the cheerful heart has a continual feast." Proverbs 15:15.

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Passed away peacefully on Aug. 14, 2013, in Oak Park Heights, Minn.

Delmar was born in Albert Lea, Minn., on Nov. 7, 1930. He was the son of Don and Opal Fisher and lived in Iowa and Minnesota as a young boy. He graduated from Rochester High School in 1948. He married Beverly Garthwaite on Feb. 18, 1951.

Dell began his career at Dayton's in women's apparel sales and later became a buyer for Buttrey's, a department store chain. After living in several cities in the Upper Midwest, he and his family settled in Rochester in 1965, when he joined his father in a leadership role at the Don W. Fisher Oil Company, a heating oil, gasoline, and automotive parts distributor and retailer. As the company grew, he was later assisted by Bev with the opening of several retail locations. Del worked at the Don W. Fisher Company until his retirement in 1989.

While living in Rochester, Dell and Bev enjoyed an active church and community life while raising their family. During this time, Dell became a member of the Rochester Male Chorus (RMC), as he loved to sing and was known for breaking out in song at any moment. With his fellow chorus members, he sang for President Richard Nixon at the White House, at a Minnesota Vikings football game, and for many other occasions in traveling widely throughout the United States. He also frequently sang as a soloist at weddings, funerals, and other events.

Following his retirement, Dell and Bev moved to a lake home in Nisswa, Minn., in 1990. During their time in Nisswa, Dell especially loved boating, and for years during summer family gatherings would tirelessly pull his children and grandchildren around the lake while they enjoyed water skiing or tubing. And whether it was the summer, winter or any other time of the year, he joined with Bev in providing a welcome, loving home for family and friends that was marked by hospitality and fun. Winter sleigh rides, ice skating on the lake, Santa Lucia celebrations, and "the marble game" were among the treasured activities that he and Bev enjoyed with their children and grandchildren.

Dell was a lifelong Lutheran and worshipped with Bev at congregations that included Gloria Dei and Bethel Lutheran churches in Rochester and Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa. He especially enjoyed participating in service projects and in Bible studies and could always be relied on to quickly respond to singing requests for various congregation needs.

Dell was also a firm believer in the value of community service and throughout his life devoted time to organizations that included the Lions, Kiwanis, the Salvation Army, and the Boy Scouts. In addition, he was frequently honored with awards for his many volunteer contributions, and his leadership roles included serving for a time as president of the Nisswa Lions.

Dell loved to travel with Bev, and over the years the two of them visited countries that included Canada, England, Norway, France, and Australia, as well as numerous destinations across the United States. Dell was also a fishing enthusiast and a passionate sports fan, and counted fishing trips to Canada and northern Minnesota as well as rooting for his beloved Minnesota Vikings and Gophers among his favorite pastimes.

Dell is survived by his sister Karen White; brother Wilbur Fisher; daughter Cindy (Dan) Raaen; daughter Cheryl (Tim) Solinger; son James (Raenelle) Fisher; son Steve (Kim) Fisher; grandchildren Sonja (Pat) Hanson, Marija (Jason) (Tilmann), Greta Raaen, Isaac Raaen, Ann (Josh) Ridder, Gretchen Solinger, Graham Fisher, and Sylvia Fisher; and three great-grandsons.

Dell will always be remembered as "the life of the party" with his quick smile, boisterous laugh, and a seemingly endless supply of jokes and quips (two favorites: "Hi, I'm from the Ajax Pumping Company!" accompanied by a vigorous handshake and "Let's show the squirrels what a real nut looks like!" during walks in the woods). Generous and possessing a big heart, he had the ability to spread good feeling and warmth wherever he went, even among complete strangers. However, possibly his greatest attribute was his ability to remain cheerful and steadfast during trying times, as he could find the good in anyone and a silver lining in the most difficult of circumstances.

If the measure of one's life is how it influences lives on after one's passing, then there is little doubt as to the prospects for Dell's legacy, as surely his family and friends will be telling Dell Fisher stories forever.

A memorial celebration of Delmar's life will be held at 12 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Boutwells Landing, 13575 58th St. N., Oak Park Heights, Minn. Visitation will be held from 9-10 a.m. at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home - Hudson chapel. A graveside service for Delmar will be held at 10 a.m. at the Willow River Cemetery in Hudson. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to a charity of your choice in Delmar's memory.

Services are in the care of the O'Connell Family Funeral Home - Hudson chapel, 715-386-3725, www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com.

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