George Fisher, 93, businessman who enjoyed sailing on the bay

July 14, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

George Fisher, a Baltimore businessman and yachting enthusiast, died of a heart attack Thursday at Northwest Hospital Center. The Mount Washington resident was 93.

Mr. Fisher was born in Baltimore to Russian immigrants and raised near Lombard and High streets.

"In a 1999 family video, he said he was named George because his father thought this was `the greatest country in the world, and he revered George Washington,'" said his daughter, Barbara Fisher Steinke of Mount Washington.

He worked in his family's Chester Street grocery store while attending school, and graduated in 1928 from City College. After earning a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1932 from the University of Pennsylvania, he coached football at City College the next year.

His interest in ships and sailing began at an early age with a fascination for Chesapeake Bay steamers.

"He and some friends bought a sailing canoe, and they taught themselves to sail. They'd sail and camp out at Fort Smallwood," his daughter said.

He opened his first business, a tobacco and candy store, in 1933 on Harford Road. In 1939, he established Fisher's Liquor Store on Belair Road. Both stores were in the Gardenville area.

During World War II, he joined the merchant marine and worked rigging Liberty ships with anti-torpedo netting.

"He even worked on the SS John Brown," his daughter said, referring to the restored Baltimore-based Liberty ship that carried troops to war.

After the war, he founded Triangle Manufacturing Co., which made soft plastic covers, in the 500 block of W. Pratt St., He sold it and retired in 1976, and was able to pursue his love of sailing.

He purchased Sounds of Silence, a 35-foot sloop aboard which he explored the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. He also chartered vessels and sailed extensively in the Caribbean, Norway, Australia and the Greek islands.

Mr. Fisher continued sailing until he was 91.

"He knew every inch of the Chesapeake Bay, and his two favorite places were the Corsica River and Lankford Creek," his daughter said.

Mr. Fisher was a member of the Maryland Yacht Club, Bonnie View Country Club and Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. During the 1950s and 1960s, he was an active member of Toastmasters International.

Services were held Sunday.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Fisher is survived by his wife of 71 years, the former Anne Rosen; a brother, Nathan Fisher of Milton, Del.; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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