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Obituary for Thomas Alva Fisher
Fisher, Thomas Alva, died July 9, 2015, in Colorado Springs, CO. He was 91.
Born to Wilber and Hazel Fisher on March 6, 1924 in St. Mary’s, Ohio, Tom graduated St. Mary’s high school in 1942 and attended Ohio State University before being drafted by the United States Army Air Forces. Col Fisher served his Nation honorably in the United States Army Air Forces and the United States Air Force for more than 32 years from January 21, 1943, to April 30, 1975.
While serving, Tom graduated from the University of Maryland with B.S. in Economics from Maryland at Heidelberg, Germany and M.S. in Management Engineering from George Washington University with studies at St. James, Oxford, England.
Col Fisher was a decorated fighter pilot with more than 8,000 hours in the P-39, P-47, P-51, P-80, F-86, F-102, F-104, F-106, F-4, F-5, F-111, A-1H, CH-3, A-26, and A3J aircraft. Tom was promoted to Command Pilot. He flew 174 combat missions/526 combat hours in Vietnam in the A-1, CH-3, and A-26 aircraft and was designated Deputy Commander for Operations for the 56th Air Commando Wing, in Nakhon Phanom.
Tom was stationed or deployed overseas to the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Borneo, Korea, Thailand, Germany, Turkey, Greece and Iran. Col Fisher was stationed at many bases, including Williams Field, AZ; Nagoya and Fuchu Air Station, Japan; Hamilton Air Force Base (AFB ), CA; Maxwell AFB, AL; the Pentagon; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai AFB, Thailand; Norfolk VA; and Ent AFB, CO. He distinguished himself in combat and in peacetime, and was honored with the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Veteran’s Medal, Belgian Fourragere (Belgian red shoulder cord), Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Longevity Service Award with 6 Oak Clusters, Armed Forces Reserve Medal , Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Col Fisher was an active member of the Order of Daedalians.
He is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College (1961), Air War College (1966) and Armed Forces Staff College (1970). For his final assignment at Ent AFB, CO, he was the Director for the Air Defense Directorate (under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations) where he was responsible for staff supervision of the operation of NORAD/CONAD Air Defense Forces that included surveillance, warning and control of atmospheric weapons systems. While at Ent AFB, he was dual-hatted as the Director, Operations and Training, Headquarters Air Defense Command. After serving our Nation in uniform, Col Fisher chose to continue to serve as a civilian. He was employed by ITT in Management and Fiscal Control. He developed Management Systems Control and controlled all work hours and employment. He served as site manager of Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS), SITE I and SITE II, and served as Civil Engineering Manager of Site II in Thule, Greenland. Col Fisher was an active member of the Order of Daedalians.
As a civilian, Tom was also deeply involved in the community; volunteering with Boy Scouts of America, Chins Up, Girl Scouts, Kiwanis, USAFA Hospital and more. During his spare time, Tom enjoyed the wonderful great outdoors, travel, fishing, swimming, shooting and skiing.
Tom is proceeded in death by his parents, Wilbur and Hazel Fisher, nephew Joseph Traverso and Colonel, his beloved Scottish Terrier.
He is survived by his wife Kristen; son Mark Fisher and wife Marie; Kristen’s children: Kelly Garrity, Colleen Reyes and husband Andy, and Robert Garrity; sister Jean Traverso; nephew John Traverso; grandsons Zach (U.S. Navy), Ethan and Dominic Garrity; and granddaughters Hazel and Quinn Reyes, and Bella Fisher.
Col Fisher will be buried with full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia. All friends are invited.
In lieu of flowers, please honor loved ones by thanking a service member for serving our great country with valor and integrity.
A warm and heartfelt thank you to the dedicated staff at MorningStar Senior Living and Optum Palliative and Hospice Care staff as well as the 11th Hour volunteers, who made Tom’s final days comfortable and peaceful.