‘Dick’ Fisher named recipient of James P. Oliver Award

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Dick Fisher, with his wife Ethel, and G-A Chamber of Commerce executive director Joel Fridgen, met with well-wishers after he accepted an award for helping to preserve a high quality of life in the community.

With a well-rounded track record of service to the Greencastle-Antrim community, Richard L. “Dick” Fisher was honored with the James P. Oliver Award by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce. Over 160 people attended the annual meeting and banquet Sept. 18 at Green Grove Gardens.

Fisher, 94, was surprised when notified he was the 2014 recipient. “I thought, I’m too old to win anything now,” he said. “Thank you.”

A native of Greencastle, Fisher and his late brother, Fred “Ike” Fisher, bought a local news agency from Roy Jones in 1947, and renamed it Fisher Brothers News Agency.

Twenty-two years later Fisher retired from that career and was hired by the Herald Mail Company as district manager of circulation for Franklin, Fulton and Adams counties. He worked for them for 17 years.

Fisher also served on Greencastle Borough Council for 12 years, and in the 1950s was one of two members supporting a new sewer system, though it took some time for the rest of the council to agree.

He was president of Old Home Week in 1968 and remains on the board of directors.

Fisher was secretary and treasurer of Greencastle Rotary for 33 years, was named a Paul Harris Fellow, and has been a member of the club for more than 50 years. He has been a deacon and elder at Grace United Church of Christ.

Early on, he worked at Fairchild Aircraft in Hagerstown, Md., when the company was focused on fighter planes.

Dick Fisher

Fisher and his wife Ethel will celebrate 70 years of marriage in February “if I live long enough,” he said.

The West Virginia girl and Fisher met at a ballroom dance in Hagerstown. They shared a love of golfing and dancing. They had a daughter, Cindy, who passed away from cancer at age 48. They have two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Fisher recounted some of his early experiences in Greencastle. At age 14 he worked for a summer at Hotel McLaughlin. His boss, Mr. Mac, hired him from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. to run the soda fountain and take guests to their rooms. He would get two meals a day, seven dollars a week “and half of what you steal.”

When operating the news agency, Fisher sold up to 1,100 papers a day, with Sundays the busiest.

The James P. Oliver Award, given to Oliver posthumously in 1992, recognizes business associates who through their company contribute personal time and service beyond normal community service. Previous recipients Jeff Shank, Garon Gembe and Charles Eckstine were present for the ceremony.

Chamber executive director Joel Fridgen said, “Dick was always thinking about the long term interests of the community.”