Singing Today's
Southern Gospel!

My sister-in-law Jody and brother Ron at nephew Judson's wedding, June 22, 2002.

Probably the last photo of the three brothers together -- Mark, Ron and Norman.

Ronald Dale Fisher
Oct 16, 1941
July 20, 2002

"His 'remains' are not in the coffin ... ...your fond memories and love for him are what remains"
Rev. Steve Ingram

Brother ... loving husband, father, and grandfather ... Cub fan ... "walking miracle" ... auto enthusiast (especially Chevys) ... did I mention Cub fan? ... Ronnie left us too soon. Four days after the photos below, Ron had quintuple-bypass surgery. He survived the surgery surprisingly well and returned home six days later. I got to visit with him on July 4, but the next morning he suffered a massive stroke due to a blood clot. Treatment was difficult because of the recent surgery, and fifteen days later another clot lodged in his heart. His family surrounded him as he passed from this life, but his memory lives on as long as we can tell his story.

Ron was already a teenager by the time I first remember his trying to teach me baseball -- with a plastic glove and a huge wooden softball bat! By the time I was in grade school, he was working for Dad during the day, sometimes working nights at General Cable in Monticello, and spending the other evenings cruising -- in the 60's he had three Corvairs (one a '66 Monza and one rare Corvair side-ramp pickup!) Later he had a 427 SuperSport Caprice (or was it an Impala?) loaded with accessories. (He said that's what Jody liked most -- she said it was his hairy chest.) The one I remember most was the 396 El Camino SS with the chrome slotted wheels -- and that was his work truck!

Of course, we never did show him the error of his ways by being a Cub fan, but there were plenty of Cub-Cardinal games to discuss. I got to work with Ronnie at "the shed" (that's another story) during the summers and after school from the time I was 14 until Dad retired in 1973. Then Ron bought the business and he was my boss for the next four years.

That almost came to an end in 1974, though -- this is where the "walking miracle" part comes in. After some severe storms in late May, Ronnie was on a ladder with a chain saw cutting a large branch at my parent's house. As I was steadying the ladder, Ron cut through the branch -- and then it happened. As the branch was nearly sawn through, it cracked and the "leafy" end, full of wet leaves, started to bend down. As he finished the cut, the rest of the branch followed it. As the leafy end reached the ground, it bent, then recoiled and "sprung" the cut end back toward us. It just missed, but left me holding two pieces of broken ladder -- one on the ground and one in the air -- and Ron was on the wrong end.

He fell in front of me, backside first on the grass, but full force with his head on the sidewalk. After six hours of surgery, we had little hope. The doctors credited his good health and excellent physical shape (and a lot of prayers) with saving his life. After a month in a coma and nearly two months of mood swings and volatile, unpredictable behavior, he -- as he said -- "woke up" and wondered why the newspaper in his room said "August" when it had just been May a day or two before. Less than two months of physical therapy later, he was home.

Steadily, as more of his memory returned, Ron even returned to the business. Some give me credit for "running" the business while he was injured -- but I really didn't have a clue. Dad gets the credit for guiding me; Jody gets the credit for sticking with it (both Ronnie and business); and I learned from Ronnie what determination really was. Although he now walked with a slight limp, and sometimes slurred his speech (especially when tired), Ron returned to everyday life -- following sons Jerry and Jeff in sports, running a successful business, and even a surprise -- daughter Jennifer was born in 1980!

Over the next twenty years, as we all too often do, I moved away, got busy with life and we didn't see as much of each other as we should have. We stayed "in touch" -- but even the DeLand Homecoming or Christmases didn't guarantee we'd see each other. Whenever we did, though, we were never at a loss to hear the latest on sports, kids, news, cars, trucks, the Cubs, or any other subject he could talk about. Through the years, Ronnie cultivated an active gift of gab.

I'm glad I got the chance to say "I love you" to him before his open-heart surgery. I don't think I'd ever spoken those words to him out loud before. His passing won't stop me from saying it to him again.

I love you, Brother.

Copyright 2009 Mark and Pam Fisher. All Rights Reserved