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Elaine Fisher

March 17, 1926 - September 11, 2017

Willena Elaine Cation Fisher, known by all as Elaine, was born and raised in Walla Walla, Washington. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Whitman College and her Master’s degree in Christian Education from San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS). It was at SFTS that she met her husband, Harold. They were married in 1950 and enjoyed almost 60 years together until his death in 2010.

Elaine devoted herself to supporting Harold throughout his career. Following their marriage, Harold accepted a job in Beirut, Lebanon.  While living in Lebanon, their only child, daughter Gayle, was born. They also trekked to and lived in Africa, specifically Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria, making friends and experiencing life among different cultures, creating lasting memories.

When they returned to the United States, they settled first in Indiana, then Ohio, and finally in Salem, Oregon following retirement to be closer to her daughter and family. In every place they lived, Elaine and Harold frequently entertained friends around the world. She thoroughly enjoyed lively conversations on world affairs.

Elaine was quiet, kind, and had a strong faith. Her church community was vital to her everywhere she lived, but especially in her later years following Harold’s death. She was always active in the church and enjoyed the lasting friendships she made among the members. Elaine never forgot family members or friends’ birthdays or anniversaries and especially loved receiving cards and letters from others. She was always willing to cook up a meal or share a plate of cookies when visitors stopped by, welcoming all with open arms. Her favorite food was chocolate in any form, and was always willing to have dessert if there was even a hint of chocolate in it. Elaine was an avid reader, always interested in local and world affairs. She never missed an opportunity to read the newspaper from cover to cover or tune in to local or international news programs.

Elaine passed away peacefully on September 11, 2017. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold, her brother Lyman, and sister Janet. She is survived by her daughter Gayle, son-in-law Hadley, and granddaughters Charissa and Heather. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and friends around the world.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 22nd, 2:00 PM, at Westminster Presbyterian Church  (3737 Liberty Rd South) in Salem.


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My deepest sympathy for a wonderful sister in law. You will always hold a special place in my heart.