Robert Paul Fisher passed away on April 29, 2020, at his family home.
He spent his last hours in the midst of four generations of family. He was born Dec. 14, 1948, to Ray and Dorothy Fisher, joining his siblings Peggy, Marvin and Patsy at their home in Coram; Little Ray joined them three years later. Bobbie grew up exploring the woods, streams, meadows and mountains on his side of the Canyon. Siblings, cousins, neighbors, and strangers were his friend. He attended grade school in Coram and junior high and high school in Columbia Falls, graduating in 1968. His big personality and great smile earned him even more friends. Bob wrestled, played football and sang in the choir.
In 1969, Bob was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving with the First Air Cavalry-Infantry. Bob completed the standard Physical Combat Proficiency Test Course with the score of 500, the highest in Company B, Third Battalion, Third Advanced Individual Training Brigade, on Oct. 30, 1969. He survived active duty for 13 months in Vietnam and received the Bronze Star. Bob did not share much about this time of his life; however, his family held him in very high regard for his service. We thanked God that he returned home to Coram.
In August 1975, Bob married Karen Yvonne Weaver. Their life together was greatly blessed with three sons, Matthew, Joseph and Christopher. Bob and Karen purchased Loyd and Ruth Sondreson’s redwood A-frame located north of Polebridge. With sons in tow, their pickup and tools, they dismantled the A-frame board by board and hauled it to Coram, one load at a time. They reassembled the A-frame over a period of time to create a home worthy of their family and the kind of life they wanted to live… in the woods, space to roam and freedom to just be.
During Bob’s lifetime, he worked seasonally in Glacier Park, helped build the Trego Tunnel, worked graveyard shift as a laborer on Libby Dam, worked for Burlington Northern for a short time, a sawyer for Dick Bras, a sawyer for Canyon Logging, several years at the Columbia Falls Aluminum Plant, and finally for the Candy Bar Ranch. In the midst of his laboring, many more friends were acquired. Bob was a good mechanic and heavy equipment operator. Vehicle maintenance was taught at an early age in Dad Ray’s shop. After retiring, Bob became aware that God was leading him to build a business on the highway frontage of the property; specifically, a high ropes course. It was to be provision and inheritance for the family he loved so much.
Bob had an unusual binding tie to his sister, Patsy. In 1975, Patsy’s kidneys started to fail. Bob tested perfect as a donor. In October 1975, Bob and Patsy went through grueling kidney transplant surgery. That transplant sustained Patsy for many years longer than expected. No surprise to them or their families; it was all a part of the plan!
Bob loved a day on Hungry Horse reservoir, cruising at high speed in his Bluewater boat. With sunscreen, a cigar and a smile, Bob gave all the kids a ride-for-their-life when towing a tube or kneeboard. Many weekends were spent camping on the reservoir, fishing the river, filling huckleberry buckets and exploring islands and Sullivan Creek.
Hunting season after hunting season, as the years went by and the boys got older, hunting camp grew into a small town with a very large fire. Bob loved the time spent with his brothers, sons, grandsons, nephews, friends, and even great-nieces, in camp at the end of day, telling stories about previous hunts, reliving the day’s successes (or not), making plans for tomorrow and keeping the fire burning.
Bob loved the rumble of a chainsaw. There wasn’t a safe larch snag in the forest if it was visible from the road. The taller the better, that once mighty tree hit the ground with a thud. Everyone felt the thrill. With choker cables, wedges, axes, mauls and his family to roll, lift and carry all that wood to be stacked in the pickup, life was good! At home, maybe light a burn pile and watch the glow… Bob was in his glory.
It was all to be surpassed only by his wife, sons and their families, and his home and land. Bob worked on his land and in his garage, worked the family business in whatever capacity was required, played with his grandchildren, visited his mother, called and texted his siblings and friends and talked with God. Up to his last day, he had a lot of discussions with God
Bob is preceded in death by his father Ray Fisher; his sister and brother-in-law Patsy and Gilbert Washburn; his brother-in-law Joe Kuzmic; and his grandson Paxton Fisher.
He is survived by his wife Karen; his mother Dorothy (now 98 years of age); son Matthew and his wife Kaylee (Williams); granddaughter Malaki, her son Joseph, his wife Nikki (Lippy); grandchildren Payton and Aletheia; and son Christopher; his wife Keshia (Skinsdingsrude); grandchildren Noeley; Harper; Kingston; Deacon; and Clarke; siblings Peggy Kuzmic; Marvin; and Kathy Fisher; Ray and Connie Fisher; mother and father-in-law Glen and Yvonne Kartheiser; nephews and nieces Jody; Ranada; Brad; Kerensa; Doug; Justin; Donel; Kim; Carly; Lucas; Kelly; Kara; Mandy; Richard; Danielle; Jacob; Austin; Dalton; many sisters and brothers-in-laws; many cousins, and many, many friends.
After Bob’s passing, his great-niece said, “Now Uncle Bob is playing soccer with Paxton in the Golden Arena.”
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates,” Psalm 129, 3-5.
We will be honoring Bob’s life at 3 p.m. on June 28 at Glacier Highline, 10167 Highway 2 East, Coram, MT.
Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls is caring for the Fisher family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Fisher, please visit our floral store.