W. Lloyd Fisher, brokerage partner

August 09, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

W. Lloyd Fisher, a retired partner in a Baltimore brokerage firm who raised money for several charities and institutions, died Aug. 2 of a stroke at Roland Park Place.

Mr. Fisher, who was 91, had lived at Roland Park Place since 1984, the year he retired as a limited partner from Baker Watts & Co. He had begun his career there in 1932 as a securities salesman, and was named a partner in 1942.

Born and reared in Baltimore's Pigtown community, the son of a bricklayer, he graduated in 1921 from City College. He continued his education at McCoy College and the American Institute of Banking.

While in high school, he began his business career as a runner in 1919 for Western National Bank and later progressed to teller. From 1923 to 1925, he managed the Central Trust Co. branch in Thurmont, and later worked in the Baltimore office of the National City Co. as a securities salesman before joining Baker Watts & Co. in 1932.

"His really was an Horatio Alger story," said Sally Cartwright, a daughter who lives in Timonium.

"When he was presented an honorary degree from Western Maryland College for his work on the finance committee, President Lowell Ensor of the college said that my father 'was a graduate of the university of hard work,' " she said.

He served as financial adviser to Mount St. Mary's College from 1927 to 1962 and, in recognition of his many years of service, was awarded an honorary degree there.

"He hired me," said broker and newspaper columnist Julius Westheimer, who joined Baker Watts (now Ferris Baker Watts) in 1961.

"He was of the old school and had been one of the firm's top salesmen for many years and insisted on quality investments for his customers. A modest man, he was low-key and just a great guy. I used to come down to the office on Saturday mornings just to listen to him conduct business," Mr. Westheimer said.

"He was the embodiment of the prudent approach to investing," said Mrs. Cartwright.

"His philosophy was 'Service to others,' and he used to say,'Be honest and be kind to those less fortunate than you,' " she said.

A Methodist, he was particularly interested in the church and its various institutions. He was a member of the board of governors of Wesley Theological Seminary and was a former trustee of the Woodbourne Center. He was a lifelong member of Grace United Methodist Church and served on the board.

He was also on the Board of Child Care of the Methodist Church of Baltimore and was a board member of the Maryland Bible Society from 1979 to 1987.

"I of course knew him at the Maryland Bible Society," said the Rev. McCarl Roberts, executive director, "but really got to know him through his involvement with the Asbury Methodist Home in Gaithersburg.

"It was due to his financial skills which laid the foundation for the home's tremendous expansion. He never bragged about it, either, and was a very self-effacing gentle man who was gracious and understated."

In 1977, in recognition of his service to the Asbury Methodist Home, the Edwards-Fisher Building was named in his honor.

His other directorships include the Arundel Corp., the Baltimore Life Insurance Co., Charles T. Brandt Inc., Cannon Shoe Co. and Union Memorial Hospital.

A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, the former Sarah Merrill; another daughter, Elizabeth Carmichael of Gays, Ill.; nine grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family suggested memorial donations to the Maryland Bible Society, 9 E. Franklin Street, Baltimore 21202.

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