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P. David Fisher


1942 - 2018
P. David Fisher Obituary
P. David Fisher

Okemos - P. David Fisher, beloved father, grandfather, son, husband, and brother, passed away in Okemos, Michigan on December 5, 2018. He is survived by his much-loved daughters Phaedra Fisher of San Francisco, California, and Vanessa Harkins, his son-in-law Stephen Harkins, his beloved grandchildren Anthony, Lauren, and John Harkins of Bath, Michigan. Dr. Fisher was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 6, 1942, the third of Leo Lawrence Fisher and Anna Walker Fisher's six children. His parents predeceased him.

Dr. Fisher graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1963. He was awarded a full fellowship by Westinghouse Electric Corporation and earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1967 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He worked for Westinghouse until 1969, when he joined the faculty of Michigan State University. He remained with MSU until his retirement in 2002 as an Emeritus Professor in the College of Engineering.

Upon his arrival at MSU, Dr. Fisher undertook research in applied remote sensing. In collaboration with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU, his work on remote sensing of fruit tree bark conditions pioneered the ability to apply pesticides only at the time trees are most at risk.

He also worked closely with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington, DC, and the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. In 1981, he developed a national police traffic radar testing laboratory approved by NIST. He frequently published articles in the fields of microwave radiation, environmental monitoring and engineering education. He was the co-author of a book for judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys, entitled Defense of Speeding, Reckless Driving and Vehicular Homicide (Matthew Bender, New York, 1984). In 1986, he received The Michigan Judicial Institute's Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his contributions to continuing judicial education in Michigan.

He was a voracious learner all his life and a dedicated teacher. He received the C. Holmes MacDonald Award from the National Headquarters of Eta Kappa Nu as an Outstanding Electrical Engineering Professor in the United States in 1976.

Dr. Fisher maintained contact and collaborated with many of his students during his lifetime. He was one of the first professors to offer recordings of his lectures on the MSU public broadcasting station. He was an active Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and of the IEEE Computer Society and IEEE Education Society. He was also a Big Brother while living in Baltimore.

Dave shared with his children and grandchildren his love of the outdoors, including fishing, camping, and enjoying peaceful times in the middle of a stream in the deep woods. He loved the quiet majesty of Cook Forest State Park in Pennsylvania throughout his life. The Manistee area of northern Michigan also became a favorite place. He was an avid reader of Ernest Hemingway, whose Michigan stories were among his favorites, including Big Two-Hearted River: Parts I & II. He was, until recently, a member of the Slagle Trout Club.

Dr. Fisher was married to Diane Koegler, also of Pittsburgh, from 1964 to 1987, during which time they raised their children. Dr. Fisher was married to Sandy Oade from 1989 until her death in 2015. Sandy owned Bell's Pizza on MAC. Dave and Sandy travelled the country and Europe together and enjoyed their grandchildren immensely.

Dave was a devoted father, grandfather, son, brother, husband, and friend. He will be dearly missed by his many friends and family.

Respecting the wishes of Dr. Fisher, a private memorial will be held at a future date. If you would like to share your memories of Dr. Fisher, the family would appreciate you sending them to [email protected]

For those wishing to make a charitable contribution in Dave's memory, please contact the family via [email protected] for a short list of those causes that were most important to him.
Published in Lansing State Journal from Dec. 15 to Dec. 18, 2018
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