At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Big Brother Big Sister
3501 Covington Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
SPCA of SouthWest Michigan
3501 Covington Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A devoted and affectionate family man, Robert Fisher had the kindest heart and a sincere passion for all people. A lover of practical jokes, he often looked forward to pulling pranks on others, waiting for their laughter to fill the air. With a dry sense of humor and a positive outlook on life, nothing ever seemed to bring him down. Whether he was out playing softball, bowling on the company league, or just another day on the job, he gave everything his all. Taken too soon, his genuine and good-natured personality will be deeply missed and forever remembered by all who knew and loved him.
In 1946, the Michigan Wolverine football team had a 6-1-2 record, Gordie Howe made his National Hockey League debut with the Detroit Red Wings… and Robert Warren Fisher was born to Maurice and Laura (Zuckschwerdt) Fisher on February 15. Born in the Saginaw area, the youngest of four children, his birth brought his parents great joy and happiness.
Robert lived a typical childhood of the times in which kids still played in the streets and sports were the highlight of their time together. He enjoyed participating in a variety of sports, such as football, basketball and baseball. His love of sports was greatly influenced by his father, who played Minor League Baseball. He was intelligent at a young age with a curious mind. Robert truly enjoyed his time in high school, excelling in both academics as well as in athletics as a defensive end for the Lumberjacks of Arthur Hill High School. After graduating with the Class of 1963, he headed north to Ferris State where he studied Environmental Health. He and his two classmates, John Cole and Mike Cooper, set off for the trip of a lifetime backpacking across Europe as soon as they graduated. Robert was proud to lead their journey with a strategic plan for spending only five dollars a day! He had many wonderful memories of this trip and lived to talk about it frequently with a gleam in his eye. In order to save a little money when he returned, he moved in with the Beegle family in Lansing before landing a position with ARVCO in Kalamazoo. It was just the change he needed. Robert was a dedicated and motivated young professional, often setting two alarm clocks to ensure he wouldn’t be late. He was held in very high esteem by his co-workers and he especially loved working with and truly cherished his friendships with both Tim Lasco and James Ross. Little did he know that while Kalamazoo would offer him a livelihood, it would also offer him the opportunity to meet the love of his life, Carol.
After thirty-four remarkable years as a bachelor, his friends set him up on a blind date that would change the course of his life forever. He met Carol and they enjoyed a memorable night together full of food, laughter, and conversation, both knowing that at the very least they had made a lasting friendship. Quiet and somewhat introverted, he asked her to marry him over the phone about a year later. The First United Methodist Church was the setting for their beautiful ceremony on November 20, 1981. Never one to miss any work and with Carol’s busy life as a mother of three children, they never took a honeymoon. Without any children of his own, Robert certainly made up for it by embracing Carol’s wonderful children: Denise, Scott, and Tracey. During those early married years, Carol worked nights and Robert worked days, so he was the house dad during meal times when he enjoyed throwing together a homemade pizza or a batch of his famous chili. His easy-going personality, nurturing nature, and open spirit were among the many qualities that made him a wonderful father. This definition of father became even more enhanced on December 28, 1983, when Robert and Carol welcomed their son Kevin to the family. Later, when Carol ran a home daycare, he became attached to those children as well, preparing him for his next role as a grandfather.
There was never a dull moment with Robert! As a grandpa, he loved to spoil each and every one of his grandchildren. He looked forward to taking them to the latest movie, cheering them on in their latest endeavor, or loading them up for vacation. Robert wanted nothing more than to share in the type of childhood he had where the journey was the goal not the destination. He would say “the back roads” are the best. The road tripping first began with his Mom and sisters, Marilyn & Sally, and he often liked to take his time on the road stopping off whenever he wanted. One of Robert’s favorite destinations was up North in the UP. While on these road trips, he would find a way to visit and donate to as many Native American cultural sites as possible. Robert also loved to make trips up to Saginaw to visit his brother Ron and family. He understood the value of family and dedicated every Sunday to catching up with the people he loved by making a phone call or mailing out a handwritten note to just say hi and even threw in a dollar bill for good measure. He always made everyone feel special and important. A Michiganian through and through, it was no surprise that he followed each of his favorite sports teams: the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Lions, and of course the Wolverines of U of M. Each and every Thanksgiving, he’d manage to prepare the most delicious turkey in the midst of yet another Detroit Lions loss. It never mattered to Robert who won that day, as he was most content surrounded by his beautiful family.
Robert had many special gifts. He could read any magazine and never forget articles or interesting facts that he picked up. A strong visual learner, he could see something only once and remember it. These qualities made him a fierce competitor for any trivia competition, as he held a wealth of knowledge from music to sports. His energy was remarkable as he seemed to need very little sleep and was always on the go. Robert loved to seek new ideas and knowledge and to explore the world around him. He had so much to offer and to look forward to during his upcoming retirement years. Sadly, he is gone too soon and his many wonderful memories will remain forever in the hearts of his special family and many close friends.
Robert W. Fisher, age 71, of Portage, died unexpectedly August 9, 2017 at his home. He worked at ARVCO Container Corporation for 41 years. He was preceded in death by his sister, Sally Beegle. Surviving are his loving wife of 35 years, Carol Fisher; 4 children: Denise Franklin (David “Smalls” Nette), Scott (Nichole) Schnurr, Tracey (Robert) Masterson and Kevin Fisher, along with Robert’s most faithful canine companion, Bo; 7 grandchildren: Matthew, Alex, Nathan, Brandon, Ryan, Helen and Harriet; 2 siblings: Ron (Judy) Fisher and Marilyn (Bob) Herzog and many nieces and nephews including: David, Laura, Andrew, Julia, Terry, Kristi, Mike, Chris and Ben. Along with family, some significant people who also share in the loss of Robert include Bret Franklin and Mary Spade. Visit with family and friends on Sunday from 4-6 pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo, where a celebration of life service will begin at 6 pm. Cremation will follow. Please visit Bob’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made Big Brothers and Big Sisters or SPCA.