Marguerite “Peggy” Anne Fisher
Marguerite “Peggy” Anne Fisher was born into the loving household of Ernest and Edna (Swanson) Harr on June 7, 1932, with Aunt Alma, a nurse at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, assisting with the birth. Family surrounded “Peggy Anne” in her early years in Cheney, WA. Because three of the Harr brothers married the three Swanson girls, Peggy grew up with “double-cousins”, particularly her cousin Bryce Harr (later Fossum), who was almost the same age and a constant companion. Her family attended the Cheney Methodist Church, where four-year old Peggy, along with her father and brother Keith, together received the sacrament of baptism. Her earliest memories were of gatherings on Memorial Day at the family cemetery plots near Cheney – a tradition she continued to observe with her children and grandchildren for most of her life.
Peggy had a beautiful voice and loved to sing in the school and church choirs. She graduated from Cheney High School in 1950 and enrolled in Eastern Washington College of Education. During college, she lived at home and studied elementary education. Her parents supported her efforts to get a degree by sacrificing financially to pay the $27/quarter tuition (!) at Eastern. During high school and college, she worked at Meyers Resort on Fish Lake to earn spending money.
While attending a dance at a grange hall near Cheney, mutual friends introduced Peggy to a tall, handsome boy from Davenport, WA, William (Bill) Fisher. Bill and Peggy married on a cold, snowy evening on December 27, 1953 in the Cheney Methodist Church. The newlyweds moved to Lewiston, Idaho, where Peggy completed her student teaching requirement to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Education degree from Eastern. Peggy liked to note that between her mother (Cheney Normal School), herself (Bachelors from Eastern Washington College of Education and graduate degree from Eastern Washington State College), and daughter, Diane (Eastern Washington University), they earned degrees from all the incarnations of today’s Eastern Washington University.
After college graduation, Bill and Peggy moved to Davenport, WA, where Peggy taught school and Bill worked as a lineman for his father at Lincoln Electric Cooperative. During their Davenport years, the couple had two sons: Stephen (born in 1957) and David (born in 1960). The young family moved to Bridgeport Washington in 1962, where Peggy taught Kindergarten, then third grade. Peggy taught Dave in both Kindergarten and third grade – when Dave got in trouble at school (a common occurrence), he really got in trouble in the evening when his father got home! Despite the challenges of raising two rambunctious boys, Peggy and Bill rolled the dice and were blessed with the birth of a daughter, Diane, in 1964. In later years, the kids would joke that Steve and Dave were Dad’s project, while Diane was Mom’s project.
The family moved to the Spokane Valley in 1971 and soon purchased the home that would serve as the center of family life for the next 46 years. Unfortunately, Peggy’s career as a teacher ended with the move – she was too experienced for the budget-conscious schools in the Spokane area. However, she stayed involved with education as an aide in the West Valley School District for a few years. She also used her ability to make new friends with almost anyone to start a new career as a top-selling Avon Lady, which she continued for many years. From that point on, her children could expect to receive Avon “collectables” as stocking gifts at Christmas. Peggy, by acting as Guardian for Bethel 53 of the Jobs Daughters, supported daughter Diane’s movement “through the chairs” to serve as the Honored Queen.
Peggy’s children gave her nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild that were the joy of her life. All the grandkids lived close to Bill and Peggy, allowing them to spend plenty of time with each other. The grandchildren delighted in zipping down the slide in the backyard, despite Grandpa Fisher jokingly telling them not to “zip”. She was especially proud that all of the grandkids had performed well in high school and college.
Bill passed away in 2003; just a few months short of what would have been Bill and Peggy’s 50th Anniversary. About the time of Bill’s passing, Peggy started to experience a series of health challenges that would test her strength and resilience. With the support of her family, especially daughter Diane, she was able to stay in her home – despite the 8 stairs up to the living room from the front door – until December 2015, when she moved to Evergreen Fountains Assisted Living. Wherever she went, she made new friends with fellow residents and her caretakers, and was always genuinely concerned with their welfare.
A wise person once said that it’s best to avoid discussion of politics and religion when in polite company. Peggy did not abide by this advice whatsoever. She came prepared to discuss these topics with anyone who would listen. Growing up in a family that argued these subjects for recreation, Peggy came well equipped for debate with any and all she met. A life-long Democrat, she could never comprehend why any intelligent person would vote for a Republican. On more than one occasion, she would remark: “He seems like a nice person, but you know, he is a Republican”. Peggy was raised by a mother who possessed remarkable spiritual gifts and a Christ-like love for all people. Peggy lived her entire life as a spiritual journey, asking the most important questions of her soul, but never being satisfied with the conventional answers. The family wishes to thank Pastor Brenda Tudor for assisting Mom through the last few months of her quest for a meaningful life.
Peggy was preceded in death by a still-born sister, Edna; her parents, Ernest Harr and Edna (Swanson) Harr; brother, Keith Harr; and her husband, William Fisher. She’s survived by her children: Steve (Karen) Fisher, Dave (Jeanne) Fisher, and Diane (Gary) Hutchens; grandchildren: Kelley, Robert, Kasey, and Mark Fisher; Nathan (Breanna), Mitchell, and Benjamin Hutchens; Genna and George Fisher; and great-granddaughter Elia Fisher.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Evergreen Fountains Assisted Living and Sunshine Health Services for treating Peggy with love and respect during her time in their care.
Peggy’s celebration of life will be 11:00 AM, Saturday March 17, 2018 at Hennessey Valley Funeral Home & Crematory, 1315 N. Pines Road, Spokane Valley, WA. Inurnment will follow at Pines Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Peggy wanted donations to go to Meals on Wheels-Spokane Valley, who provided her with not only nutritious meals, but compassion and friendship as well.
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