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Brent Fisher

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Brent Fisher Obituary
Roy Brent Fisher


Brent Fisher lived his life in service to others. This calling was imprinted on him as a nine-year-old child attending his father's funeral at a church in Pampa, Texas. His mother showed him a church window on which was written the word "OTHERS," and told him the window had been placed there by his father as a reminder that God asks us to live our lives in service.

In Brent's words, "This became for me a personal imprimatur stamped on my forehead, a missional calling lasting to this very day."

Anyone who knew Brent knows this is truly how he lived his life. Losing his father at an early age and growing up poor taught him empathy for others and gave him a lack of interest in material things. Instead, his life was focused on helping people find healing and navigate their way in life.

Joy was a big part of who he was. In youth, he ran track with joyful abandon as a member of the State Championship Track Team at Corpus Christi High School. His magnetism attracted people. He collected friends like others collect sea shells. He was named outstanding boy in his senior year in 1949. In college, as president of his fraternity, he kept Lambda Chi in the black.

He graduated from the University of Austin with a degree in elementary education in 1954. Having received the call to ministry, he earned his Master of Theology from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in 1957. As youth director, he enjoyed the young crowds of people. As a young father, he played with his children.

Then, as his ministry progressed, he found another source of joy. After serving in vibrant churches including St. Andrews United Methodist Church in San Antonio for two years and St. Luke United Methodist Church in Austin for four years, Brent was appointed to First United Methodist Church in Kenedy, Texas. He watched the world change and with it the church.

Young people shifted their interests away from the church, and this small town church was apathetic to this movement. So he turned his focus to working for equal rights in the segregated ranching and farming community. He worked to integrate the swimming pool, establish and build the library, and open the first head start program in the county.

He took sodas to the valley marchers, who were demanding a living wage and sheltered Latinos in his all-white church after a tornado tore through their homes. He worked against the wishes of the leaders of his church and community to benefit others.

The Kenedy experience robbed him of his joy for a while, but God used it to re-focus his direction. It was time to give up the management of a church and to concentrate on the counseling side of ministry.

With his eye on God and the support of his family, he began to sharpen his fifty year journey in psychotherapy by earning a Master of Social Work from Worden School of Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake University in 1970. He worked for MHMR for three years then entered private practice.

The Jung Center in Houston blessed him with intensive training in active imagination, dream analysis, expressing creativity, Jungian theory, and his beloved sand tray therapy, which he studied under Dora Kalff. Not content to counsel from only one perspective, but ever curious, he explored many theories and techniques of counseling, fortunate to live during a time when the field was developing vastly.

Brent became more deeply spiritual as the years passed. In his words, he "served a higher purpose-to discover the soul which dwells in each of us and thereby unleash its power for transcendence and transformation."

Many of his clients credit him with empowering them to find their path to healing and even to save their own lives. He did not travel much physically, but traveled the earth vicariously through the eyes and ears of those who came to his office. Each person was a gift.

He was widely known and loved as a gentle soul, a teacher, a mentor, a spiritual leader, and a friend. He often helped people see situations in a different way, or pointed out ideas they had never considered before.

He was most proud of his work to organize PFLAG in San Antonio, his training in spiritual direction, and his creative writing in poetry, and storytelling. He presented on many topics, most recently conducting a series on forgiveness, which attracted one hundred and fifty people.

He is survived by his wife, Doris Hudspeth Miller; four children, Deborah Fisher (Cynthia) of San Antonio, Lynn Fisher Partain (Bruce) of Beaumont, Roy Fisher (Carol) of The Woodlands, Laurie Fisher Woodward (John) of Gig Harbor, Washington; his former wife Nell Donaho Moore.

Extended family includes Challes Donaho of San Antonio; stepchildren Trustin Clear (Monique) of Atlanta, Georgia and children Samara and Alejandro; Katherine Watkins (Donald) of Mesquite and children Jennifer Brueggerhoff and Sean Watkins; Anne Hohenberger of San Francisco; Robin Clark (Rob) of Port Aransas and children Robbie and Hailey Clark.

His nine grandchildren: Jude, Josh and Taylor Tapia-Fisher, Nevin, Turner, and Will Partain, Drew and Alysse Fisher; two great grandchildren, Nevin and Gracelyn Partain.

His children are deeply grateful to Doris for her tireless research and care giving, which extended his years on this earth. We are also grateful to Dr. Deva Mahalingam and Dr. Gerald Koppes.

Gratitude is extended to his personal caregivers Dr. Alvaro Centeno, Gil Aguilar, Lupe Rivera, the Russell sons: Daniel, David and Drew and special friends Shirley McCullough, Fred and Mary VandenBosch.

A celebration of his life will be held March 29, 2014 at 1:00 P.M. at Alamo Heights Methodist Church, 825 E. Basse Rd. in San Antonio.

In lieu of flowers the family asks you to donate to the Cancer Therapy and Treatment Center, UTHSC - CTRC, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, MC 7835, San Antonio, TX, 78229.

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Published in Express-News on Mar. 23, 2014
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