In his life's journey James Roland Fischer had many plateaus and apexes. Jim's favorite hymn was the prayer of Saint Francis, and in life he strived to make a great impact while leaving a minimal footprint. He passed peacefully on June 19, 2020 after serving the Lord here on earth.
Born February 23, 1945, Jim was raised on the family farm outside Washington, Mo., and after three years of studying at a Franciscan seminary in Westmont, Ill., he discerned priesthood was not his vocation and returned to graduate from Saint Francis Borgia High School. Jim earned his bachelors, masters and PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia in agricultural engineering.
One of Jim's common phrases was "make it happen." And for his beloved family and friends he made it happen. For more than 51 years his wife Sharon (Dobsch) was his partner in work and life, including operation of a successful direct to consumer beef operation in central Missouri for many years. Together they raised three children– Benjamin (Stacy) of Edgewood, TX, Matthew (Frances) of Piedmont, SC, and Margaret Eckelkamp (William) of Washington, MO–who brought them pride and constantly expanded their horizons. Jim built teams of people, and the greatest of those teams was his family.
His professional career spanned four decades of service in the federal government and land grant university system. His "energized" philosophy led to him being a mentor to many colleagues and graduate students, and he was a recognized leader in renewable energy. He led departments, colleges and Extension systems at the University of Missouri, Michigan State University and Clemson University. He managed research programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Department of Energy.
He volunteered on advisory boards for colleges and non-for-profits including the Missouri Energy Initiative, The Farm Foundation, and The University of Missouri College of Engineering Foundation. He also enjoyed his time on the golf course as well as across from friends at the poker table.
Additional surviving family includes his cherished grandchildren: Cecilia, Sarah Adeline, Charles, Kathryn, William, and Lucille. Also surviving are five brothers and sisters: Henry (Mary) of Lake St. Louis, MO, Edward (Dolores) of Washington, MO, John (Linda) of Washington, MO, Helen Fick (Ed) of Ballwin, MO, and Jane Fulhage of Rocheport, MO as well as in-laws Kristine (James) Piontek of Liberty, MO, and Bob (Mary) Dobsch of Washington MO. He was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Agnes, Sister Mary Ann Fischer SSND, and brother-in-law Charles Fulhage.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 from 1-2 P.M. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Washington, MO, with a Memorial Mass beginning at 2 P.M.
The family is asking memorials be sent to: Father Tolton High School, 3351 East Gans Road, Columbia MO 65201, or University of Missouri College of Engineering Foundation, 3610 Buttonwood Drive, Suite 200, Columbia MO 65201.
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