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Doris Anderson Fischer

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Sisters led active lives as seniors

News-Democrat

Dorothy Anderson Bone and Doris Anderson Fischer talked to each other or were together every day.

Bone, 82, was the proper sister, more likely to follow etiquette. Fischer, 79, was looser.

"She'd say, 'People are coming over to see me, not my house,'" said Fischer's daughter, Kim Fischer.

Both of the elderly sisters could have been found in one of those active senior lifestyle magazines.

Fischer was involved with Signal Hill Lutheran Church, the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Belleville Women's Club, the Red Hat Ladies, and was an avid card player -- every Friday night it was a fish dinner and rummy with friends.

Bone was a golfer -- something her sister couldn't enjoy after two knee replacements. Bone played in two golf leagues, was an active member of the St. Clair Country Club, was a member of the Junior Service Club and Calvary Lutheran Church in Belleville.

Kim Fischer and her sister, Victoria Weygandt, said their mom was known for her laugh.

"We were kids, would go to the bathroom at a restaurant and not be able to find our way back to the table. We found it when we heard her laugh," Kim Fischer said.

She was jolly, looked like Mrs. Santa Claus and loved the holiday. She was known for making the family members handmade gifts, from tree skirts to Christmas stockings.

She was also big on birthdays.

"You always got a call waking you on your birthday with mom singing 'Happy Birthday'," Weygandt said.

Fischer was a widow. Her husband, Julius Fischer Sr., owned Jul Fischer Distributing in East St. Louis, which handled Stag beer while it was brewed in Belleville.

Bone had been a salesman at Dillards and survived her first husband, William Healy. One of their children, Kathleen, is married to Swansea Mayor Charles Gray.

In 1998, Bone married Belleville lawyer and developer Maurice E. Bone. The romance started after Maurice Bone called Doris Fischer to get her sister's phone number.

Weygandt and Kim Fischer said their mother always joked that she would live to be the world's oldest woman. She expected to make it past 100 and was healthy enough to make it -- taking just one prescription drug, fewer than either daughter.

Weygandt was angry that someone took that away, ended the handmade Christmas gifts and robbed their mother of an upcoming family wedding. The family was able to celebrate Doris Fischer's birthday on Sunday.

Doris Fischer and Dorothy Bone lost their parents, Alonzo and Enola Anderson, within 24 hours 23 years ago, Weygandt said.

"And now my aunt and mom died together."

Assistant City Editor Brad Weisenstein and reporter George Pawlaczyk contributed to this story.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Mar. 3, 2005
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