Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Joseph Fisher Memorial
Joseph Fisher Memorial

Joseph Fisher

Joseph Fisher

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Joseph E. Fisher, age 70, passed away on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Washington.   He was born on December 27, 1943 in Farragut, Idaho to Joseph and Vertamae “Bobs” (Black) Fisher.

Joe was a lifetime resident of Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon.  At the age of 3 years, he contracted polio spending a year and a half at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, and he was a March of Dimes Poster Child for Polio. 

Joe attended school in Sedro-Woolley, graduating from Sedro-Woolley High School with the class of 1962.  During high school he was an active member of Sea Scouts in Mount Vernon with the SES Viking and during college he worked as a dispatcher for the DNR.   He attended Western Washington University and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.

Joe began his teaching career at the Cascade Middle School in Sedro-Woolley, teaching English and Drama for 25 years.  He enjoyed sports and for years kept score for the basketball and wrestling events.  He was an active member of the Highland Games, he helped organize the Skagit Community Arts Theatre, he was an avid Seahawks fan, and he enjoyed reading.

Joe is survived by his wife of 34 years, Julie Bjorn-Fisher whom he married on August 9, 1980 in Sedro-Woolley.  Two Sons, Kyle Fisher and his wife Sandi and their daughters, Amara, Shawntel and Patience of Stanwood and Bjorn Fisher and his wife Christena and their daughters, Madilyn and Katelyn of Mount Vernon; two sisters, Bonnie Allen and her husband Otis and Cheryl Brue and her husband Greg all of Sedro-Woolley along with numerous nieces and nephews. He also leaves two brothers-in-law, Mike Bjorn and his wife Diane of Mill Creek, WA and Jeff Bjorn of Fruitland Park, FL and a sister-in-law, Judy Bjorn of Leesburg, FL.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Bobs Fisher; grandparents, Tom and Flora Black and Edward and Elizabeth Fisher; uncle and aunt Gene and Jean Mohler; father-in-law, Tony Bjorn; mother-in-law, Rosie Bjorn, and brother-in-law, Tony Bjorn.

In his 70 years of life, Joe courageously fought a 67 year battle of a very debilitating life with polio.  Never asking, “why me.”  Though polio took many things from his body, he never let that limit what he could do or define who he was.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 1:00PM at Lemley Chapel in Sedro-Woolley with a reception following.  Memorials are suggested to, Friends of Skagit Library, 614 Morris St., La Conner, WA 98257, the Sedro-Woolley School Foundation, PO Box 401, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 or a charity of your choice. 


  • John

    Mr. Fisher was my drama instructor. He had incredible patience and strong with us as young actors and showed great passion for working with young people and teaching us the mechanics of the dramatic arts. For the kids that were not the athletes, he gave them a home to belong. I valued his contributions to my life.

  • Jason H. Self

    Mr. Fisher ….I remember you from Cascade Middle school you were a wonderful English teacher always willing to talk to and initiate conversation inside of this shy kid in your class….I always felt bad that you were always getting around on crutches but you were one of the strongest willed teachers I have ever known….I remember being in your class on Earth day and receiving a couple of pine tree’s to plant…each student got 2 trees mine were these scrawny little saplings but now the one that survived is over 40 feet tall!! I wish that I had a chance to tell you how much those little tree’s meant to me and the teacher who taught me to be stronger inside gave them to me God Bless you for all of your years dedicated to us students and the strength that you showed us….Jason H. Self

  • Irene Callender (Ashe)

    To Joe’s Family…
    I never knew Joe well but I know his pain… I too am a Polio survivor and was starting my struggle about the same time as Joe. being in the Skagit Valley our paths did cross a few times. I was pleased to hear of his accomplishments and can feel the extra effort he had to display to meet his goals.
    My 55 + years in a wheelchair has not defined me just as I can see that Joe never let Polio slow him down! my hope is that your many memories will keep your hearts full and lessen your pain.

    best wishes to all your family

  • Stephen J Ruhl

    Julie and family, I was privileged to grow up with Joey and his family as we lived next door in Sedro Woolley. It was just a standard almost daily routine to walk over and just hang out. We shared the excitement of being in Sea Scouts through out junior high and high School. Joey never complained or felt sorry for himself given his physical challenges. He was a great friend who, laugh, cussed, and impressed life with gusto. Our condolences to the family.

  • Doris Queen Groves

    I first met Joe when we were the first 8th grade class at Cascade Jr. High School. I didn’t know he ended up teaching there! I have a lot of good memories with the class of ’62. My thoughts and prayers are with his family for comfort, strength, and peace.

  • Tami Bjorn Roosa


    May you find strength in Our Lord…to walk you through this very difficult time…But May you also find Peace in your Heart, knowing he is no longer suffering…and He is in a much better place..I know you will miss him dearly and time will only heal but you will always hold Him in your heart and cherish all your memories, I wish I could be there Julie, I give you my love and Prayers.

    All my Love,

  • Janet Brown

    Julie – I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Joe was a great person with a wonderful smile, nothing ever got him down. I can truly understand your pain at this time. Depend on your family and friends to help you through this. Just know that Joe is in a better place now. Having lost Vern 15 months ago, I know what you are going through. Each passing day gets a tiny bit better! Wish I could be there to give you a hug.

    Janet Brown
    Acworth, GA

  • Debbie Lindbo

    Dear Julie, Thinking of you at this time of your loss. I truly am sorry and praying for your comfort and strength. I love you. Debbie L.

  • Floy Fortin

    Julie, So sorry to read of Joe’s passing. You will forever be blessed for your devoted care of him. You and Joe were sure fortunate to have each other. What a blessing you have been in his life. May your heart always be filled with his peace and joy. Take care of your self and I pray that you and your families hearts will heal quickly. Joe may you have the sweetest dreams forever. May all of you be blessed Floy

  • Brianna Shales

    We will miss you dearly, Uncle Joey! A wonderful role model of strength and tenacity to all those he came across, the patriarch of our family for many years, and an incredibly giving father, grandfather, husband, brother, and uncle. We love you, rest in peace.

    Matt, Brianna & Wesley Shales

  • Linda Scherrer

    Joe was a wonderful person and he will be truly missed by everyone who knew him. We had some good laughs and conversations. REST IN PEACE JOE….

  • Ellen (Suthers) Johnson

    Julie, I’m so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. It appears you have lots of family to help you thru this trying time which is good. I know firsthand that trite phrases don’t help, so I’ll just say may God bless you & help you thru the days to come.