In Memory

Gerald (Jerry) Fisher


Gerald "Jerry" W. Fisher

( May 20, 1945 - July 07, 2021 )

Gerald “Jerry” W. Fisher, 76, of Roscoe passed away Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Meriter Hospital, Madison, Wis., after a short illness.  Born May 20, 1945, in Rockford, the son of Willard Ronald and Helen C. (Johnson) Fisher.  Graduated from East High School, Class of 1963 and received the BS, Masters, and CAS degrees from Northern Illinois University.  Married Jan De Decker in 1976.  Employed as a High School Principal for more than 30 years, retiring from Harlem Consolidated School District.  He was proud of his legacy at Harlem, including the Pride Program and the High School renovation and expansion project.  Jerry loved golfing, fishing, competing in the Masters Walleye Circuit, landscaping, gardening and nature and wildlife photography.  He was involved in several local clubs including, Walleyes Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited.  Jerry was especially proud of completing a fish habitat restoration project on Pierce Lake with the Rock Valley Anglers.  He was an avid Bears, Bulls, Cubs and local High School Sports fan.  Anyone who knew Jerry has probably been “entertained” by his many long stories – so long in detail!  Survivors include his wife, Jan; sons, Erik (Edith) Fisher and Mark (Vanessa) Fisher; grandchildren, Olivia and Lukas; sister, Janice; nieces, Andrea and Paige; nephew, Kameron; cousins, Ray, Dick and Barbara; and canine companion, Cooper.  Predeceased by his parents; parents-in-law and aunt, Evelyn.

Memorial service at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Delehanty Funeral Home, Ltd., 401 River Lane, Loves Park.  Private family inurnment in Willwood Burial Park.  Memorial visitation from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers, memorials to Harlem Scholarship Fund and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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07/12/21 04:31 PM #1    

David Sheets

Jerry was instumental in organizing/setup of our 50th Reunion.  His insight was extremely valuable.  Thanks Jerry and may God be with you.

07/13/21 09:00 AM #2    

Paul Knopp

As Dave has posted, Jerry's input over the past 7-8 years on our Reunion Committee was invaluable in making key decisions.  From a committee standpoint he will be missed.  In adddition to his insights, he added a note of frivolity to the day, which was often needed. 

As a friend with whom I talked quite often, he will be missed even more.

As a fishing partner, he was the best.  His success speaks for ittself.  I am happy to have shared some of those experiences.

Jerry was interesting to converse with and fun to be with.  He enjoyed life and helped others to do the same through his kind spirit and outgoing personality.  Bigger thatn life in so many ways.

Thanks, friend, and may God welcome you home.

Paul Knopp

07/13/21 05:57 PM #3    

Eugene Robinson

To All East High School graduates in the Class of 1963: I was so shocked to hear about the recent passing of Jerry Fisher as I was traveling from Florida from Ohio! The news was relayed to me from Rick Ball after he received the news from Bob Olsten who both reside in the Pacific Northwest! I was a teammate of Jerry's on the E-Rab basketball teams during that era and a nicer individual you would never meet as he was always a "fun to be around person" who always told you what he was thinking! WE ARE GOING TO MISS BIG JERRY! GOD Bless- GENE ROBINSON

07/14/21 09:49 AM #4    

Linda Swinehart (Wales)

Jerry was a terrific friend in high school and ever since. There are so many good memories. He  was caring, thoughtful, funny and kind. He will be missed greatly by all who knew and loved him. 
Linda Wales


07/14/21 09:06 PM #5    

Sam Stonefield

Jerry was the real deal.   We bonded playing football and basketball.  I still have a scar on my left shoulder from the time I crashed into a cherry tree in his back yard in the summer before our senior year, trying to catch up to and catch  a pass that he (over-)threw.  I still remember the sinking feeling of pain and disappointment when he blew out his knee in our first game that year.  Jerry was devastated -- and so were all his teammate and all the coaches. 

I'm not surprised to hear of all the good work that he did for our class reunions.  He was persistent in staying in touch with me over the years,  and I am glad that he did.  He was a loyal friend, a good husband and father, a great public servant, needless to say a superb angler and an all-round good guy.   He will live on in our hearts and memories.  Miss you, big guy.

07/15/21 02:02 PM #6    

Jean Remsen

Jerry was my first love, a very special part of my life all through high school. He gave me so many happy memories, many of which I hold with me to this day. He will be thought of by any who knew him for the great guy he was!

07/18/21 11:08 AM #7    

James Wales

I was shocked and saddened to hear about the death of my friend, Jerry.  I still think of us as young.  At least I did until a couple weeks ago when my doctor referred to me as elderly.

Nonetheless,  I still have many great memories of Jerry and our shared times together. He and I played basketball at Lincoln and East High together.  Some of the funniest recollections about “Fish” was how we would always talk about different things. One time he said to me, “Shucks Jim, why does everything always happen to me?”  He seemed to continuously suffer with back,  knee or foot injuries.

Then, we got older (or “aged”), Jerry came down to visit me in Florida; we played golf and had a great time relaxing together.  He was always a great storyteller and dear friend.  And after all those years, he even took the time to attend both my parents’ funerals.  

He was just that kind of GREAT guy. I will miss him. It is a sad moment but I am so grateful and fortunate to have called him my friend. My heartfelt sympathies to his loving family and friends.  God bless. 

With warm regards, 
Jim Wales

07/21/21 11:29 AM #8    

Robert A Fredrickson

The passing of Jerry Fisher came as a shock.  He always had abundant energy and enthusiasm and appeared to be in great health.  Our friendship spanned 60 years.  I talked with him frequently.  On many occasions he offered me great fishing advice, and we also talked about a wide range of topics.  I always looked forward to our discussions because he was such an upbeat and positive person.

07/21/21 11:46 AM #9    

John Bergstrom

I had heard Jerry was rushed to a Madison hospital and became very concerned.  But hearing of his passing was quite a shock....I was quite saddened to say the least.  Pre-Pandemic, I saw Jerry frequently at North Point Fitness that we both belonged to.  After our workouts, of course, there was a sitdown meeting and fairly long discussions on a variety of subjects.  Many times it revolved around our high school days.  As Sam & Jim referred to, Jerry was still upset about getting 'clipped' in that first football game.  He discussed many of his injuries including back issues.  But it never slowed him down.  He loved telling me how high he could get his heart rate on the stationary bikes!  :)    We also saw each other over the years at our ortho rehab place treating each of our injury problems.  My wife, Debra taught in the foreign languages (caught & corrected per Rick Ball  :)  )    dept at Harlem with Jerry's wife, Jan.  Debra -French;  Jan - German.      Jerry  was the principle, but she never got called into his office!  :)  Jerry was just a great guy to everyone he knew & met.  It is a very sad loss.

07/22/21 10:03 PM #10    

Layne Aden


Good evening fellow Erabs. AS you alot of you know many of us went to Alpine grade school. A great school to go to as there were so many back grounds of the kids. Rich to poor and short to tall. Well we all showed up for classs i believe it was the 6th grade and we had some newbies,Then this giant of a student walked in and  he was introduced as JERRY FISHER.  A bigger than life kid but  very mellow and soft spoken. Got along with all.

One day i decided not to go out for recess but to use the rest room before the whole class was in line. When i walked into the room  i saw jerry sitting next to a girl talking and working on something. This girl was from a very poor family who im sure missed many meals. Very quiet and introverted.As i got closer i saw jerry with a needle and thread sewing  the bottom of her dress. She had ripped it and did not have anything to change into. Well it did choke me up but i held it together.Compassion was a new word i learned that day. Well after high school i saw jerry at some harlem games and some times on campus due to my duties as police officer.He didnt change. He was respected by all. Now all of us will miss him.        

                                                                                               Layne Aden



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