Dr. Delbert L. Fischer

Celebrating Del Fischer and a life of historical proportions

OBITUARY from The Morning Journal, 5-9-07

``Dr. Delbert L. Fischer, 83, of Avon, died Monday, May 7, 2007, at St. John West Shore Hospital, Westlake. He was born July 24, 1923, in Chicago.

Dr. Fischer was on the staff at St. Joseph's Hospital, Lorain, beginning in 1955 and was active staff in 1961. He established a full Division of Orthopedic Surgery in 1978 and was its first chairman from 1978 to 1980. He was affiliated as consulting staff at Elyria Memorial Hospital and Lorain Community Hospital and was EMH director of orthopedic medical education, orthopedic residency program, from 1980 to 1984 and also had an orthopedic consultative office in Avon. He retired in 1987.

He was certified by the Ohio State Medical Board in 1948 and the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 1959, served his internship at Wesley Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, in Chicago and a residency at the Cleveland Veterans Administration Hospital in general surgery and orthopedic surgery and a residency at the Gates Hospital for Crippled Children in Elyria for children's orthopedic surgery.

He graduated from Boardman High School, Boardman, in 1941; from Hiram College, Hiram, in 1945; and from the Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, in 1948.

During World War II, Dr. Fischer served as a private in the Medical Corps in 1944 and served in the Navy Medical Corps with the rank of lieutenant from 1952 to 1954 and was commander of a surgical team with the First Marine Division in Korea.

He was a past president and board member of the Avon Historical Society; and a member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Avon, Hiram College Alumni Association, Western Reserve Alumni Association and many professional orthopedic and medical organizations.

He was very interested in historic preservation and with his wife, Jean, co-founded Olde Avon Village. He enjoyed collecting and restoring old carpenter tools.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Jean A. (nee Reese); daughters Barbara Messmer of Baltimore, Ohio, Catherine Young of Cincinnati, Susan Sublett and Pam Manthey, both of Seville, Linda Ziegman of Grafton, Fran Gregory of Vermilion and Marty Malone of Avon; son, Brian Fischer of Bowling Green, Ky.; and 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred William and Barbara C. (nee Witzgall) Fischer.

Friends may call Thursday, 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m., at Busch Funeral Home, 32000 Detroit Road. Prayers there Friday at 9:15 a.m. will be followed at 10 a.m. by Mass in St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, 2640 Stoney Ridge Road. The Rev. Thomas Cleaton will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9871.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hiram College, P.O. Box 67, Hiram, OH 44234.''

To send online condolence, go to http://www.buschfuneral.com

-------------------

OBITUARY from The Chronicle-Telegram, 5-9-07

``Delbert L. Fischer M.D., 83, of Avon, passed away Monday, May 7, 2007 at St. John West Shore Hospital, Westlake. He was born July 24, 1923 in Chicago, IL.

He graduated from Boardman High School, Boardman, in 1941; Hiram College, Hiram in 1945 and the Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland in 1948. He was certified by the Ohio State Medical Board in 1948 and the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 1959.

He served his internship at Wesley Memorial Hospital (Northwestern University) in Chicago and his Residency at the Cleveland Veterans Administration Hospital in General Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery. He also served his residency at the Gates Hospital for Crippled Children in Elyria for Children's Orthopedic Surgery.

Dr. Fischer was on the staff at St. Joseph, Lorain beginning with his appointment in 1955 and was active staff in 1961. He later established a full Division of Orthopedic Surgery in 1978 and was the first Chairman of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery from 1978 to 1980. He was also affiliated as consulting staff at Elyria Memorial Hospital and Lorain Community Hospital and was the Director of Orthopedic Medical Education, Orthopedic Residency Program at Elyria Memorial Hospital from 1980 to 1984. He also had an Orthopedic consultative office in Avon and he retired from active practice in 1987.

During World War II he served as a private in the Medical Corps in 1944. He also served as a lieutenant in the Navy Medical Corps from 1952 to 1954 and was commander of a surgical team with the First Marine Division in Korea.

Dr. Fischer was a member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, Avon; the Avon Historical Society where he had served on the board of trustees and as president; the Hiram College Alumni Association and Western Reserve Alumni Association and many professional orthopedic and medical organizations.

In addition to his grandchildren and great grandchildren he enjoyed collecting and restoring old carpenter tools. He was also very interested in historic preservation, especially in Avon and Lorain County and he co-founded Olde Avon Village with his wife.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jean A. (nee Reese), married May 21, 1949; seven daughters, Barbara Messmer (Wade) of Baltimore, Catherine Young (Ronald) of Cincinnati, Susan Sublett (Nathan) of Seville, Linda Ziegman (Glen) of Grafton, Fran Gregory (Tom) of Vermilion, Marty Malone (Bill) of Avon and Pam Manthey (Bob) of Seville; a son, Brian (Julie) of Bowling Green, KY; fifteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred William and Barbara C. (nee Witzgall) Fischer ...''

Top -- Home

FEATURE ARTICLE from The Press, 5-23-07, By Rebecca Turman

``Celebrating Del Fischer and a life of historical proportions

AVON -- On May 7, 200, the city of Avon lost a spark of history and a pioneer when Avon resident Dr. Delbert "Del" Fischer, 83, passed away at St. John West Shore Hospital. Born in Chicago, Fischer was an orthopedic surgeon at St. Joseph's Hospital in Lorain, where he founded the Division of Orthopedic Surgery in 1978.

Along with helping to advance medicine in the Lorain County area, Fischer also had a passion for preserving history in the city of Avon. His life touched many over the years.

Devoted doctor

Avon resident Jim Smith knew Fischer on a doctor-patient level. After a bad car accident in 1960, when Jim was 30, he was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he met Fischer. "I remember him asking me (jokingly) 'Do you want me for your doctor or not,'" Jim said. "He was stern but he was very kind."

Fischer performed surgery on Jim's left arm, which was fractured in several places at the elbow, Jim said. But even after the surgery was complete, Fischer didn't leave Jim on his own. For months afterward, Jim said Fischer "came over to the house and fixed up a whole traction thing for me. He would come over after his duties were complete (at St. Joe's) at 11:30 p.m. to check up on me." "He was a great doctor and he pulled me through, I'll say that," Jim, now 78, said.

Fischer lived in Lorain at the time when he was treating Jim, but in the late 60's he moved to Avon. Jim said he frequently saw Fischer at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Avon, just down the street from Fischer's Stoney Ridge Road home, where Jim was a teacher and organist.

Historic friend

Taylor "Jack" Smith, the current president of the Avon Historical Society said, "I met him (Fischer) totally out of context of historical preservation." "Actually, I've known him since about 1960," Jack said. Jack was visiting his brother-in-law Jim Smith in the hospital (St. Joe's) after he had bone surgery. As mentioned above before, Fischer was Jim's surgeon.

But it wasn't until 2000 that Jack got to know Fischer on a more personal level. That's when he said he (Jack) became active in the historical society. "His most outstanding characteristic, in my mind, was his courage," Jack said. "He had macular degeneration and during that period of time he suffered from congestive heart failure. These things just did not get him down. I admire him for his ability to overcome his handicap."

It seems that Fischer and his wife, Jean, had more of a passion for Avon's history than most Avon residents who had deep roots in the city. "Sometimes people who have been born and lived here take our history for granted," Jack said. "Sometimes it takes an outsider and a fresh view."

Though Fischer had a private practice in Lorain from 1955-1973, he eventually maintained an office in Olde Avon Village, which he owned, in Avon. According to Jack, Fischer renovated and preserved the Alten-Casper House (now the Tree House Gallery and Tea Room), which was built in 1850, and turned it into an antique shop. His next big move was the train station, Jack said, and after that was the Gibbs-Binns House (now the French Creek Fiber Arts Studio), another century-old home.

Eventually, the Fischers sold the Olde Avon Village property, which was then sold to today's current owner, Ron Larson. "He had a long-term dedication to preservation," Jack said. "He was a charter member of Lorain County Preservation Network," Jack said. "He's really been a good influence." While preserving Avon history, Jack said Fischer also had a preserved sense of humor, as well. "To the very end he had a keen sense of humor and a keen mind," Jack said. "I don't know how he remembered them all (the jokes)."

Husband and father

Along with being dedicated to history and medicine, Fischer was a dedicated husband to his wife Jean and a loving father to eight children, Jean said. "On May 21 [2007], we would have celebrated our 58th wedding anniversary," she said.

Jean recalled the time when they moved from Lorain to Avon in 1966. "We drove past and bought the home within five days," she said, adding that it was "meant to be." It wasn't a month after Jean and Del purchased the first settler's home (Wilbur Cahoon) on Stoney Ridge Road that a member of the Avon Historical Society contacted them, and they joined the group together.

"We love Avon; Avon has been a great city," Jean said. "Our children -- all eight of them -- graduated from Avon High School." "He was a dedicated physician and orthopedic surgeon," Jean said. "I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of nurses and physicians (who came to the funeral). He certainly touched a lot of lives." "He was a good man and a good father," she said. "We were greatly blessed to have such a great family."

In the summertime, the Fischer family would go on vacation, though Jean explained that taking eight kids somewhere wasn't always a vacation, so each year she and Del "would take them two by two," she said. "Our favorite was a park in West Virginia that we always went to -- Blackwater Falls," she said. "For our 40-year anniversary, we all went back there with all of our children and grandchildren."

"I think the joy of our life has been our home," she said, adding that she and Del always enjoyed the luxury of having French Creek in their backyard. "He felt strongly about historic preservation, and we hope it will continue on in Avon," she said.''

Avon Sketches -- Top -- Home -- What's New