Oh goodness. I have been putting off this post, not because of not wanting to do it. But because of the enormity of it. How to put my heart into words. But I have written to tribute before and this time is not different. It just still seems surreal. My Grumpies passed away 3 weeks ago. It still hits me and takes my breath away. I will never hear his melodic voice, be the receiver of his famous hugs, hear his infectious laugh again. But I am rejoicing. He is whole and well.
Haylor H. Fisher Jr. passed away at home Sunday, July 6, 2008.
Haylor was a third generation Shawnee native, the son of Haylor H. Fisher and Grace (Givens) Fisher.
Haylor married Nancy Browning in 1950. Their marriage produced his most treasured blessings, daughters Lynn, Karen, and Beth. The Fishers were active for years in the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Shawnee, where he served two terms as Senior Warden. They are current members of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Stillwater.
Haylor graduated from Shawnee High School in 1945, earning honors as an All State basketball player. However, he never got to play in the All-State game, because he reported to service in the U.S. Navy as a medical corpman.
At the completion of his service, Haylor attended Oklahoma A&M to earn his degree in Business Administration. He played basketball on scholarship, but was unable to complete his career due to his father’s illness. While at A&M he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, serving as president. Haylor followed his grandfather as President of Home Federal Savings and Loan. While with Home Federal, Haylor became an active leader in the savings and loan industry. His firm merged with State Federal Savings and Loan where he remained until his retirement.
Throughout his active business career, Haylor always found time to provide service to the community. Haylor became actively involved in numerous civic and community activities as a young man and continued to be involved until he was physically unable. Haylor was recognized as Shawnee’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year and the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce recognized him as one of Oklahoma’s Outstanding Young Men. He was introduced into the Shawnee Education Foundation Hall of Fame. Shawnee Jaycees honored him as Boss of the Year.
Haylor’s many civic and community activities included the Shawnee Kiwanis Club, serving in every capacity of leadership including president and Lt. Governor of the Oklahoma-Texas district, president of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce and two-term past president of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Shawnee City Commission for eight years, president of the United Fund of Shawnee, president of the Shawnee YMCA, board member of the YMCA of the Rockies, recipient of the Outstanding Service to YMCA of the Rockies, President and trustee of the Shawnee Industrial Foundation.
Throughout the years, Haylor has continued to be a steadfast supporter of Oklahoma State University, where he served as president of the OSU Alumni Association.
Pretty incredible huh? But this lifetime of accomplishments cannot tell you who he really was. He was a champion for the weak. He was a charmer. He made everyone he met fell special by simply saying in his beautiful voice, "How do, how are you?" He was a deeply loyal Oklahoma State fan. He was a doting grandfather and father. He laughed until he cried. He lived for 7 years without legs and rarely complained. He loved to dance, even after the amputations. He had an exceptional memory and almost never forget a name. He believed. He loved a good story and was a great story teller. He battled diabetes for years but still loved food and chose well. He made amazing queso. He sneezed so loud, it almost made you wet your pants in fear. He could not sing, but always tried, loudly. He loved family. He taught me that posture and my height was beautiful by coyly saying, "Knockers up." He loved beautiful things. He was a true gentlemen. He had amazing work ethic. He carried handkerchiefs that smelled of pipe tobacco, though he had not smoked in years. He loved to surprise attack you with a "love pat" on the leg that left it stinging but you could not help but giggle uncontrollably while trying to get away. He had an incredible reputation. He loved those I loved simply because they were mine. He was my Grumpies....a man I will always miss. One whose impact on my life has shaped me more than I can say.
I know he is in Heaven. He is probably the loudest in the choir, while everyone is shaking their head. He is making his famous queso for the angels and they are all laughing with him as he tells his stories. Mostly, I know he heard "well done." And saw years of suffering fade away as he relished in hearing, "Come, I have prepared a place for you." And away he walked, fully restored on his long legs, hand in hand, with the God he loves.
Thank you Father, for giving us so many years with him. Many that doctors said were borrowed. He was so dearly loved. Thank you for using him and making him mine.