Passage: First Legislature member Rep. 'Jamie' Fisher, at 93 - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, November 28, 2020
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Passage: First Legislature member Rep. ‘Jamie’ Fisher, at 93

One of Alaska’s first state legislators has passed.

James Fisher served in the inaugural Alaska State Legislature, 1959-1960. Friends of Fisher are reporting he died of COVID-19. Fisher had turned 93 on Aug. 24.

Fisher and other original members of the State Legislature were elected on Nov. 25, 1958, when Alaska was still a territory.

He had earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and, upon moving to Anchorage, had become involved with people who were pushing for statehood.

Fisher, whose nickname was Jamie, was a Democrat in a Legislature that was dominated by Democrats in pre-pipeline Alaska. Helen died in 2000.

The Fishers moved to Soldotna after he lost reelection in 1960. They had two children, Sally and Bruce, and an unofficially adopted son Cory Mann. Jamie Fisher opened up a law practice and lawyered for many years.

He served a stint as the city attorney for Kenai, and was involved in many civic affairs on the peninsula, such as the Chamber of Commerce. He was also well-known for his love and appreciation of live local music, attending performances all over the Kenai.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Texas, Fisher served overseas during the end of World War II in the U.S. Marine Corps., and in Korea with the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers.

The family says a celebration of his life will take place when it’s safe to gather again.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Celebration of life? No God? Does that tell he walked away from God since his days at Southern Methodist University and forgot to raise his family loving the Lord God first?
    Celebration of Life is like the Natives saying they walked into the forest. When I die, I am not walking into no forest. I might get lost all by myself! I know myself I get more lonely in a forest than lost. I will have no one to talk to and trees dont talk back.

  • I think it’s safe to say, Mr Fisher died from living a long and productive life, after 93 years on this earth.

  • Correction: While he was married to Helen, she wasn’t the one who served in the legislature. That was Helen FISCHER (no relation by blood or marriage to Vic, either). She was elected to three additional terms serving Anchorage in the 1970s and died in California in 1986.
    .
    By what I could piece together from my ongoing research, following this death, there are perhaps two or three surviving members of the First Legislature. The only one I’m reasonably certain about is William M. Erwin, who was noted in his brother’s obituary in February as still living.
    .
    Curious to note that I could find no story about this in the Peninsula Clarion, despite his long tenure as a Peninsula resident active in civic affairs. They did have a story about the COVID-related death of the former CEO of the hospital in Homer, who lived on the Peninsula for less than a decade and was living in South Carolina at the time of his death. This makes me wonder how much the hospital spends on advertising with them.

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