Ruth Jane Cereghino Fisher
1932 - 2020
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Ruth Jane Cereghino Fisher
Nov. 25, 1932 - Feb. 19, 2020
Ruth Fisher passed away quickly and peacefully surrounded by her family.
Ruth was born in Portland, the oldest child of David and Gerda Cereghino. She and her younger brother, Dave were raised on the family onion farm in Sherwood, Ore. Ruth's strong work ethic was evident during middle school were she worked as a janitor. Earnings from her green thumb in the onion fields helped pay for her education at Oregon State University.
At Oregon State, Ruth was president of her sorority and very active in many campus organizations. It was at OSU where Ruth auspiciously met her future husband, Jim. They were acquainted, although Ruth happened to be dating one of Jim's fraternity brothers. On the eve of a dance, Ruth's date was ill and asked Jim to fill in for him. Well....Ruth and Jim wed in June of 1955 and were married nearly 32 years, until Jim's passing in 1987.
After graduating from OSU in 1954, Ruth taught at Newberg High School. As newlyweds, she and Jim were stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California. Upon return to Portland, Jim expanded his father's automobile business. Ruth and Jim started their family and Ruth's role as mother and community volunteer began. Ruth's involvement in numerous organizations was impressive. She gave countless hours of time to her children's schools, Valley Community Presbyterian Church, the Oregon Symphony, Visiting Nurses Association, the Oregon Historical Society and the Assistance League. Oregon State and OHSU were a major part of her commitment to her community.
Ruth had endless energy, she was always present at her three children's school events and extra curricular activities. She was very proud of her garden and orchard, loading her family up with tomatoes, beans, apples, pears, plums and of course zucchini! Ruth was devoted to her family and loved calling all of her children, their spouses and her grandchildren on their birthdays and singing Happy Birthday.
When Ruth's youngest child, Jim reached high school, she began her successful career in real estate. Ruth was one of the top producing agents in her office and was a member of the Million Dollar Club. Well established as a Realtor, the sudden passing of her husband Jim in February 1987 changed Ruth's life. Without hesitation, she jumped into the family's automobile business. As a woman in the auto industry, she was met with skepticism as very few females worked in that industry, even fewer as owners at that time. She proved the doubters wrong and ran Jim Fisher Volvo up until the final week of her 87 years.
As the dealer principal, Ruth was recognized as Sports Illustrated 1993 All Star Dealer, an award based on business success and community leadership. Ruth was also very involved with Volvo's national dealer boards and active with her NADA dealer 20 group. She was committed to excellence and customer service. Customers were often greeted by Ruth when they dropped cars off for service or visited the showroom. She remembered many customer's names and details, enjoying chatting with them over the years. Ruth loved her Volvo store family and worked at the dealership seven days a week every week of the year!
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Jim, in 1987; and granddaughter, Nanette Graybeal in 2001. She is survived by her daughters, Jane (Fisher) and Ron Graybeal, Jean (Fisher) and Kevin Shearer; son, Jim and Julie (Gesley) Fisher; grandchildren, James Graybeal, Andrew, Amy and Claire Shearer, Molly (Fisher) Murray and Emily Fisher; and one great-granddaughter, Olivia Murray.
A memorial service for Ruth is planned for 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 8, 2020, at Valley Community Presbyterian Church, 8060 S.W. Brentwood St., Portland. A gathering to celebrate Ruth's well lived life will be held at the Sentinel Hotel, Governor Ballroom following service.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in Ruth's memory to: OSU Foundation Fisher Family Presidential Scholarship, 4238 S.W. Research Way, Corvallis, OR 97333; Knight Cancer Institute Fund or Doernbecher Foundation, C/O OHSU & Doernbecher Foundations, P.O. Box 29017, Portland, OR 97219.
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Published in The Oregonian from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2020.
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3 entries
March 3, 2020
Sending my heartfelt condolences in the loss of your mother and grandmother. I helped Ruth for many years at Nordstrom, where she was always looking for the perfect gift for her daughters, etc. I admired her kindness, her thoughtfulness and her unending energy. I know that her absence will be forever missed.
Peggy Smith
March 2, 2020
Ruth was an iconic part of not just our local auto dealer community, but Oregon business leadership overall. Joining what was at the time a wholly male-dominated industry, she's proved to be a strong businesswoman, and has always been a tough competitor! More than anything she was a great lady, and I certainly enjoyed catching up anytime I would bump into her. We are fortunate to call her children, grandchildren, (and yes great grandchild!) our friends. Ruth will be missed, but leaves behind a family legacy to be quite proud of!

Our love to Jim, Jane, Jean, Molly, Emily, James and all the rest of the family!

-Chris & Betsy, & all of your friends at Herzog-Meier Volvo
Chris & Betsy Meier
February 27, 2020
I had the great honor of waiting on Ruth for many a year at Bales Marketplace. She was such a sweet lady. never wanted help to her car. so independent. So nice. I will miss her smile and small talk. My Prayers are with your family and will light a candle in her honor.
Your friend Ralph Giannini.
Ralph Giannini
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