James Russell Fisher
Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 5:27 pm
James Russell Fisher died peacefully on September 8, 2010, at the age of 97 after a well-lived life of love, devotion, and service to his family, his church, and his community.
Russell was preceded in death by his wife Mae, his parents, Delmer and Delia Fisher of Sharon, Tennessee; his brothers Wayne and Wendall and sister Verna.
Russell is survived by his sons Jim Fisher (Linda) of Kingsport, Tennessee and Joe Fisher (Susie) of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is also survived by his sister, Mildred and his brother Warner, 5 grandchildren: Rachel, Andrew, Russell, Elizabeth, Michael and 3 great-grandchildren: Hanna, Matthew, and Foard.
Russell entered the world on March 11, 1913. Russell began school at the age of 5 and was introduced to two lifelong passions: education and sports. Russell played baseball and basketball at Sharon High School, graduating in 1930. Russell entered the University of Tennessee Junior College but the Great Depression delayed his return for his second year. Russell hustled for jobs to help his family retain their 110-acre farm and when he returned to college, signed up for football. Russell took to the game quickly, lettered in the sport and Lambuth University recruited him on a partial working scholarship. As a 187 pound guard-tackle and sometimes linebacker, Russell’s teammates elected him Captain his senior year. He was nicknamed “Mr. Brownie” because he loved chewing “Brown Mule” chewing tobacco. Russell finished his college football career graduating from Lambuth as its Most Valuable Player in 1935.
Upon graduation, Russell returned home to Sharon to teach history and coach football. Russell was popular with his students and became principal for Sharon High School. He served the school for 16 years as principal while simultaneously officiating football and basketball games. In 1939, he married Mae Speight. Russell devoted a majority of his great passion for volunteer service to the First Methodist Church in Sharon, teaching Sunday school for generations.
Russell’s banking career began in 1955 as an assistant cashier with the Bank of Sharon. Russell worked hard, advanced quickly and retired from the Bank of Sharon in 1980 as its CEO. In his retirement, Russell took Mae to see the United States, photographing her in every state except Alaska.
The family will receive visitors at the Gardner Funeral Home in Sharon, Tennessee on Friday, September 10, 2010 from 6-8pm. Funeral services will be held at Gardner Funeral Home in Sharon, Tennessee on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm with H. Max Speight officiating. Internment will follow at Tansil Cemetary.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Lambuth University.