Steven M. Fisher, 16, student at Polytechnic

March 25, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Steven Matthew Fisher never wanted to be outdone in school. He never wanted his classmates at the Polytechnic Institute to be more prepared than he or score higher on tests or assignments.

Steven, 16, also had dreams of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, and he knew his career path wouldn't be easy. So the freshman would study diligently each night, often from the time he got home until well past 11 p.m.

"That's just the way he was," said his mother, India Deanes. "He wanted to do well and worked hard to get there. He really burned the midnight oil."

Steven died Friday of kidney cancer at University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors said the cancer had probably spread in his body for several months before it was found in late January.

The Randallstown youth had been ill and missed school for the past six weeks, although he had complained of soreness in his side and of being more tired since the fall, his mother said.

But until his cancer was detected, he went to school and participated in several extracurricular activities. He kept his grades up, although they did slip to a B average when they were handed out last month.

"Even through all of the chemotherapy, he was still concerned and conscientious about his schoolwork," said Allen Becker, one of the school's guidance counselors. "He was very quiet and conscientious. He was absolutely delightful."

One noticeable difference in Steven caused by the cancer, his mother said, was that he would come home from school and take a nap before doing his homework.

"He gave it his best, but it wasn't the best he could do," Ms. Deanes said. "In spite of it, he didn't let it slow him down. I admire him for his courage and his strength."

A Baltimore County native, Steven graduated from Old Court Middle School last year and chose Poly because of its strong curriculum and its competitiveness. He made the National Junior Honor Society at Old Court Middle and was active in Poly's ROTC program.

He was an avid reader and had interests in architecture and geography. "I'd call him a little strange," Ms. Deanes kidded. "He liked to read a lot, and he was very intellectual."

Steven was also an active member at Whitestone Baptist Church in West Baltimore, where he sang in The Voices choir. In addition, he played in neighborhood baseball and basketball leagues, and played the trombone.

He chose to participate in ROTC during his freshman year instead of playing in the school band.

"He always wanted to get extra work to increase his ROTC grade," said Sgt. Preston Jackson, assistant director of the school's ROTC program. "He was obviously in a lot of pain, but never complained to me. He was legitimately a nice guy."

Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Whitestone Baptist Church, 3005 Baker St.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his father, Kirk Fisher of Baltimore; and two sisters, Charlynn Fisher Roy of Fort Hood, Texas, and Rhonda Deanes of Randallstown.

Pub Date: 3/25/98

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