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Fund Spotlight – Henry & Dorothy V. Fischer Family Fund

The Community Foundation recently introduced our newest Fundholder, Dorothy Fischer, at our annual Fundholders & Legacy Society Reception. Ironically, the reception venue used to be a working barn on her family’s farm in Rothbury, before it was moved and thoughtfully restored with many reclaimed materials by Sam and Jen Stitt to create Heritage Wedding Barns.

Dorothy grew up in New Era, in the neighborhood surrounding Trinity Lutheran Church. She overcame a huge personal setback at 14 when her mother died. She thought she would need to drop out of school to care for the family, but her father felt education was too important.  She persevered, juggling chores, cooking and household duties for the family, and school. She graduated from Shelby High School at 16 in 1937, having skipped a grade because she was the only person in her class!

She worked as a secretary in Shelby and then partnered with her husband, Henry, on the family farm. They raised 3 children, who all successfully earned graduate degrees and beyond. At the last presidential election, her daughter, Diane, recognizing her mother’s important place in history, submitted a picture of her mom on the “I waited 96 years” website.  This web site recognized women born before August 1920 when the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote, and in 2016, were able to vote for a woman running for the highest office. Dorothy was subsequently asked to be a part of a special book, called “We the Resilient”, where these women shared their wisdom with others.

Dorothy was very active in community organizations over the years, including serving as a township treasurer, a passionate volunteer for the Oceana Historical Society, and promoting asparagus by working with others to start the asparagus festival. She coauthored the first asparagus cookbook and served as Mrs. Asparagus runner-up.  At her 99th birthday this year, her granddaughter Amy, organized a card shower and Dorothy received 138 cards, including letters from top elected officials. “I’m interested in so many things and felt it was time to give back,” said Dorothy when reflecting on why she established the Henry & Dorothy V. Fischer Family Fund. May we all share in Dorothy’s resilience, joy in life and her commitment to her community!

You can support the Henry & Dorothy V. Fischer Family Fund, one of the Foundation’s 150+ Funds, or learn more about starting your own named fund here –