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Dr. William T. FISHER

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Dr. William T. FISHER Obituary

FISHER, Dr. William T.

Dr. William T. Fisher, longtime University of Connecticut administrator and emeritus professor, died on Friday, (March 30, 2012), in Springfield, MA. He was 94 and lived at residences in Thompson and Manchester. Dr. Fisher was predeceased by his wife, Mary Rowena (Donnelly) Fisher. They were wed on December 26, 1949 in Most Holy Trinity Church, Pomfret . Mrs. Fisher, former principal of Thompson Elementary School, now the Mary R. Fisher Elementary School, passed away December 2, 1991. Dr. Fisher studied at American International College, Boston University, Clark University, Columbia University, and the University of Connecticut, where he was assistant dean of the School of Insurance of the School of Business. For several years prior to joining UConn, Dr. Fisher was an educator in Templeton, MA and Thompson. He also taught at Becker College in Worcester, MA, Ohio University, and the State University of New York at Albany. He accepted an appointment at the University of Connecticut in 1957 and continued there until 1989, for a total of 32 years of service to the university. A 25-year member and past chairman of the Connecticut State Insurance Purchasing Board, Dr. Fisher served under Governors Dempsey, Meskill, Grasso, and O'Neill, and until 1990 during the first year of Governor Weicker's administration. The board is responsible for the property and liability insurance program of the State of Connecticut. He was a past state chairman of the Connecticut Small Business Administration Advisory Council and a past state president of the Connecticut Association of Municipal Development Commissions. He served as a member of the Board of Directors and secretary of the Education and Research Foundation of the IMA-Professional Insurance Agents for the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from 1973-83. He was a licensed real estate broker from 1973-1993. A longtime trustee of American International College in Springfield, MA, he was also a member of the AIC Corporators from 1972 to 2007. He received his undergraduate degree with high honors there and later in his career was a recipient of the college's Alumni Achievement Award. Dr. Fisher also served for several years as a member of the Board of Trustees of Annhurst College, Woodstock. Interested in philosophy and religion, Dr. Fisher enrolled in the Permanent Deaconate Program at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, and was ordained a permanent deacon in 1973, among the first 12 individuals completing the program in New England. Assigned to St. Joseph Cathedral, Hartford, he served as a deacon whenever possible over the course of the next 10 years. Upon his retirement from UConn, Dr. Fisher sought and was awarded two research fellowships at Yale University Divinity School, in 1989-90 and 1990-91. He participated in the Theological Opportunities Program at Harvard Divinity School in 1994; and from 1995 on, he was visiting scholar for periods of time in the divinity schools of Duke, Vanderbilt, and Emory Universities. A World War II veteran, Dr. Fisher spent 39.5 months in continuous overseas service. He enlisted in the U.S. Army March 2, 1942 and served in the field and in administration. The last 14 months of his overseas service was spent as a member of the joint British-American staff at Allied Force Headquarters, Caserta, Italy. Countries of service included England, North Africa, and Italy. Dr. Fisher was a contributor to numerous journals, newspapers, and professional magazines. Various articles of his were included by Connecticut Congressmen in the U. S. Congressional Record. He was editor of "Selective Readings in Human Resources Management", published by Ginn Press, Lexington, MA, during the 1980s. Beginning in 1968, he was listed in "Who's Who in America". Locally, Dr. Fisher served as a member of the Thompson Board of Finance and the Municipal Development and Industrial Commission for many years. He was past president and trustee of the Thompson Library, Inc.; past chairman of the Connecticut Library Service Center, Willimantic; a member of Region 3 Advisory and Planning Council of the CT Department of Mental Retardation; a corporator of Day Kimball Hospital, Putnam; Windham County Director of the regional development commission; and was a member of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus, Thompson Democratic Town Committee, and the Thompson Historical Society. Dr. Fisher was born in Central Falls, RI on March 15, 1918, son of the late William L. and Sarah (Foley) Fisher. For all but the first few weeks of life, he was a Connecticut resident. Dr. Fisher leaves his son, Dr. William T. Fisher, Jr., and daughter-in-law, Ms. Lynn T. Gordon, BSN, MPA, of Holyoke, MA and Manchester. Other survivors include a sister, Mary (Fisher) Dinsdale, RN, of Putnam, CT and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three brothers: Dr. Francis J. Fisher of Beverly, MA, Charles E. Fisher of Mansfield, and Louis F. Fisher of Cranston, RI.
Calling hours are respectfully omitted. A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the convenience of the family. A private burial will be in the West Thompson Cemetery beside his wife, Mary, with an additional marker in the cemetery on the campus of the University of Connecticut, Storrs, an institution of higher education which both Dr. and Mrs. Fisher attended. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to either of two scholarships established in 1991 and 1994 respectively: the Mary R. (Donnelly) Fisher & Dr. William T. Fisher Scholarship Fund, supporting college-bound high school students entering the teaching profession, c/o First Niagara Bank, 1063 Riverdale St., West Springfield, MA 01089; or the Dr. William T. and Mary R. Fisher Scholarship Fund at American International College, c/o American International College, 1000 State St., Springfield, MA 01109.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Apr. 3, 2012
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