Cover photo for Andrew Robert Fisher's Obituary
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Andrew Robert Fisher

April 15, 1931 — October 27, 2022

St. Johnsbury

Andrew Robert Fisher

Andrew Robert Fisher passed away peacefully in St. Johnsbury on October 27, 2022, surrounded by loving family, after a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s. Born to Andrew Joseph and Edith Morris Fisher on Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY on April 15, 1931, he was the oldest of five brothers and honed his story-telling, battle-planning, and leadership skills from a young age as ringleader in many of their antics, such as the legendary asparagus field war and ensuing fire.

Happy memories from his childhood included surf-casting with his Uncle Bob, shooting competitions with his father Andrew J, and trips to the soup kitchen in NYC with his grandfather, Andrew G, to learn to appreciate what he had. But the happiest times of all were when the family piled into their Packard for summer vacations in Vermont. After graduating from Seton Hall High School, he chose to head north to St. Michael’s College where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology and history.

He first set eyes on Clara on the Staten Island Ferry while commuting in to Manhattan. Ever the hunter, he figured out her walking route and on the day he worked up the courage to meet her, ran around three sides of a block so he could bump into her at a corner. Somehow, this sweaty, yet dashing man captured the heart of the young German beauty.

On their honeymoon they stopped in the little town of Concord, Vermont. Andy met the superintendent and was hired on the spot to teach social studies at Concord High School. For 32 years he brought history alive in the classroom, sharing lessons of the past through battle re-enactments, current events recordings on the old Wollensack, and lengthy essay tests. In his “spare” time he also shared his passion for the natural world by teaching outdoor recreation, designing and running a summer natural history camp (Camp Buggy Bog), establishing a weather station with his students, and starting a long-running acid rain monitoring program. He taught hunter safety and first aid courses. He joined his friends Roger Damon and Dan Brodein in putting up a first ascent route on Cannon Mountain. He learned Morse code, added an anemometer to the house roof, and equipped the family backyard with a weather station. For  more than fifty years he faithfully reported temperature, precipitation, and barometric pressure to a national network.

While many people in northern Vermont have camps on lakes, Andy decided to build a cabin on a five-acre plot of land on the side of Kirby Mountain. The log cabin was built by Andy and family using 1790s-era tools and methods-- axe, bow saw, bit and brace. It was at “the cabin” that the Fishers learned primitive skills, maintained a tiny sugar bush, explored their piece of Vermont paradise, and spent precious summers together.

The Fisher family also spent time hiking, snowshoeing, camping, and backpacking in the White Mountains, and took epic camping trips including one across the country with four kids sitting staggered in the back seat of a Volkswagen Squareback. Always a lover of mountains and drama, Andy rigged up a way to play Beethoven’s 5th just as the Rockies came into view. His love for the West was passed on to his children and grandchildren, some of whom have left Vermont to live out their dreams in those wild landscapes.

Andy brought history alive both in his classrooms and while re-enacting battles from the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. He started the Vermont Hemlocks to celebrate Vermont’s significant contribution to the Union efforts in the Civil War. In 1975, after watching the bicentennial ceremony at Fort Ticonderoga, he decided to jump back a century and establish Herrick’s Regiment. Through the years, he made many lifelong friends including Ed Kennedy, Dave Linck, and Eric Britton, who shared his interests and tolerated his need for perfection and meticulous historical accuracy. He went further back in time with his grandchildren, introducing them to castle lore and crafting wooden battlements, ramparts, and trebuchets.  

Upon retirement from teaching, Andy turned his attention to building a Revolutionary War-era gunboat in his driveway. He served as St. Johnsbury’s tree warden, was an acid rain monitor for decades, a longtime Fairbanks Museum trustee and volunteer, founded the Caledonia Fish & Game Club’s primitive biathalon known as the Wabanaki Run, helped Clara with the town beautification committee’s plantings, and designed the entrance signs for the town (“where rivers and people come together”). In recognition of their community service, Andrew and Clara were recipients of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Citizenship Award in 2002. A devoted grandfather, he was an active participant in his grandchildren’s lives in both Vermont and the West. He and Clara made 19 trips west to visit kids and grandkids. Every year his western grandkids would eagerly await Mimi and Papa’s arrival and entire Forest Service offices would be looking forward to meeting these two easterners who defied all stereotypes. His grandchildren cherish memories of playing croquet, hiking, fishing, boating, re-enacting, and sugaring with him; learning about history, orienteering, archery, riflery, and mountaineering; and being held in his strong embrace.

Andrew Fisher had a love for learning and trying new things, and a great zest for life. He was a self-taught military historian, craftsman, ship builder, conservationist, hunter, angler, and amateur meteorologist. He was one-of-kind, a commander with a heart of gold, caring and compassionate beneath his sturdy armor. He was a storyteller and a walking example of making your own dreams come true. His spirit lives in all of us he touched. In honor of Mr. Fisher, we ask you to grab a fishing pole, put on your hiking boots or snowshoes, pull a tome off the shelf and learn something new, go somewhere you haven’t been before, build something that you’ve always dreamt of, or teach a new skill to a child.

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Clara, parents, two brothers and many aunts and uncles. He is survived by brothers William and Paul (Julie), his children Linda Fisher, Lori Fisher (Ben Rose), Mark (Teresa) Fisher, Cheryl Probert (Robert), grandchildren Amber (Dyrell), Chantelle, Micah (Marie), Anya (Hugo), Acacia (Gary), Reno (Hailey), Rayne, Chantel (Justin), Tialitha (John), and great grandchildren Zen, Tej, Koa, Luella, Ronin, Rayden, Shainna, Nathan, and Bellamy Andrew.  

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Caledonia Forest & Stream Club (PO Box 603, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819), Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium (1302 Main St., St. Johnsbury, VT 05819), or the St. Johnsbury Beautification Committee (c/o Town of St. Johnsbury, Pomerleau Building, 53 Depot Square, Suite 3, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819).

An informal gathering to share stories of Andy and good cheer will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 1 PM at the Caledonia Forest & Stream Club (706 Field & Stream Road, St. Johnsbury, VT). A memorial via Zoom will be held on Saturday, November 26 at 2 PM Eastern to honor Andy. A celebration of life for Andy and Clara will be held in St. Johnsbury during summer 2023. If you would like the Zoom link, or to be notified about the summer gathering, please contact Lori Fisher and Cheryl Probert at and

Condolences cam be shared with the family at

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service via Zoom

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Contact or for the Zoom link.

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Celebration of Life for Andy and Clara

Summer of 2023 in St. Johnsbury. Details to be announced. Contact or to be notified.

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