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Marty Fischer

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Marty Fischer Obituary

Marty Fischer of Monticello, Ill. passed away on Oct. 22, 2014, at Carle Hospital in Urbana, Ill., from injuries sustained in an auto accident. She was 56.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, at 10 a.m. at the Monticello United Methodist Church, 212 S. Independence, Monticello, Ill. The Rev. Matthew Stump will officiate.

Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home, 201 N. Elm, Champaign, is assisting with arrangements.

Marty was born in Albuquerque to John and Marie McKellar. She grew up in the Jemez Mountains near Jemez Springs. After graduating high school in Chama, she attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, earning an associate degree in secretarial administration.
Marty began working at the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad in Chama during the summer of 1977. While working at the railroad, she met Russ Fischer. They were married in 1981.
In 1984 Marty learned to fire the coal-burning steam locomotives used on the narrow gauge C&TS Railroad. She became the first female fireman and, later, the first female locomotive engineer on the Cumbres & Toltec.
She and her husband shared a love of railroading, and particularly, historic steam locomotives, and they enjoyed working together on the railroads where they were both employed for many years. She would go on to work as an engineer on two other steam-powered railroads, Grand Canyon Railway and the Austin and Texas Central Railroad.
In 1990 Marty and Russ settled in Silver City, and both worked for Southwestern Railroad. They began a family during their time there and had two children. Marty was never afraid of hard work and, working side by side with her husband, helped build their own home.
The family moved to Monticello, Ill., in 2004 when Russ took a job in Champaign. Marty dedicated her time and considerable efforts to raising two daughters and making a wonderful home for her family, a home that was always filled with laughter and happiness.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John McKellar in 1997 and Marie McKellar in 2004.

She is survived by her husband, Russ, of Monticello, Ill., two daughters, Taryn O'Dell, and Calli, both of Illinois; two sisters, Lee Anne Davis and Sherry Lajeunesse; and a brother, Archie McKellar, all of New Mexico.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Piatt County Ecumenical Food Pantry, 212 S. Independence, Monticello, IL 61856.

Condolences may be offered online at
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Nov. 3 to Dec. 2, 2014
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