December 1, 1928 ~ February 16, 2019

Born in: Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Resided in: Aurora, Colorado

Joanne Fisher, also known by family and friends as, “Joanie,” was born on December 1, 1928, in Plattsmouth, Nebraska to parents, Albert Gustav Degen and Jeannette Patterson. She was the second child born five years after her beloved older brother, Albert. Ten years later after her mother’s unfortunate passing, her father remarried Mary Kellogg and she welcomed her new stepbrother John into the family! A few years later, her youngest brother, Jim, was born, completing the family. These siblings all formed a strong bond that continued throughout their lives. Even at a young age, Joanne always loved animals, reading, and going places with her friends.

Joanne attended DePaul University in Bloomington Indiana, where she met her future husband, John Fisher. Shortly after graduating, they were wed and moved to Dallas for John to attend Law School. They moved to Top Sail Beach in North Carolina, where Joanie truly began to delve into the love of her life – dogs. She began racing greyhounds and after returning to Dallas began to breed Dobermans to be show dogs, with some of her dogs even going to the Westminster Dog Show!

In 1957, her oldest daughter, Jeannette was born followed by Bridget in 1959 and Amy in 1961. She continued to breed Dobermans after her children were born, eventually, this evolved into breeding and racing horses. On a typical day, Joanne would pick up her daughters at school and accompany them to go and ride their horses, even traveling all over Texas so that the girls could compete in barrel racing. Joanne was very involved in her children’s lives.  She was one of the most encouraging mothers you could ask for, she would even drive them to barrel racing camp in East Texas every summer for the girls to follow their passion for horses.

While she lived in Dallas raising her daughters, she worked as a social worker. In 1981, Joanne moved to Colorado, after a few years of living in Denver, she enrolled at Metropolitan State University and received her Master of Arts in Psychology. She eventually moved into her home on Gaylord St. in Washington Park and became a Therapist. While she worked as a Therapist, she also opened up her own bookstore – Cornerstone Books. One of the most impactful events happened shortly after moving to Denver – she joined a weekly group that eventually came to be known as her “Women’s Group.” This group of friends spent every Tuesday together, went on trips together, they laughed and cried together. They supported each other through all of life’s challenges and also celebrated the joy of life, continuing to be lifelong friends.

Joanne lived across the park from her daughter, Jeannette and oldest grandchildren, Ryan and Tess.  They would spend almost all of their time together, while the girls were growing up. Eventually, when the girls were grown, Jenny and Joanne would live together spending their days with their dogs – sometimes up to seven of them! Joanne and Jenny opened a Therapy practice together but eventually, Joanne spent more of her time volunteering at Maxfund Animal Shelter. Joanne would spend her days rehabilitating the most aggressive of dogs – her calm nature eventually allowed the dogs to trust people again and go on to be adopted (if Joanne didn’t end up adopting them herself.) Her other two wonderful daughters still lived in Texas with their children, Bridget with son, Dylan, and Amy with son, Degen, and daughter, Lily. They often came to visit, and Joanne would often visit them at their homes, maintaining a close relationship throughout their lives. Joanne spent the last years of her life in the loving care of Terri and Phillip Wash.

Joanne Fisher passed peacefully in her sleep surrounded by loved ones on Saturday, February 16, 2019, in Aurora, Colorado.  Joanne was a woman who lived life fully – she loved chocolate and animals and her family. She spent her life helping others – whether it was her clients during her practice, her animals at home and at Maxfund, or her family who she loved most of all.


Memorial Service: February 23, 2019 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Pipkin Braswell Chapel of Peace
6601 Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80220

(303) 996-0869

Reception: February 23, 2019 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Tears-McFarlane House
1290 N. Williams Street
Denver, CO 80218

(303) 830-1651

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  1. Sweet Joanie,
    She Was not only my friend she was a Mother to me. She showed me what Unconditional Love truly was.
    I know that God has her Safe in his arms and Thanking her for all she did here on this earth. God Has a special Place for
    Her, She is Right in the Middle of All of His Precious Animals and Full of JOY!!! I am just one of many who were blessed with
    Her Precious kind Love.
    Janice Lynn English

  2. To the Family and Friends of Joanne Degen Fisher

    Please allow me to express my condolences for the loss of your dear loved one. The pain and sorrow experienced during this difficult time can be overwhelming. However, I am often comforted by the words found in God’s word, the Bible. For instance, when grieving the loss of his dear friend Lazarus, the Bible reports that “Jesus gave way to tears.” (John 11:35). What is even more comforting is the fact that Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead, and so like Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, the Bible expresses the hope of the resurrection whereby we may see our loved ones again. (Read John 11:38-44; 5:28, 29). What a marvelous hope.

    May Jehovah God grant you peace during this time and provide comfort for you and your loved ones.


    Jeanine W.

  3. Susan and Catherine Kellogg want to pay our respects to an incredible mother and grandmother Joannie. She was always the epitome of grace inspire of whatever circumstances she was in. beautiful inside and out a rare but admired combination.

  4. such a sad week, for all Degens, Fishers, Kellogg’s and surrounding friends……….while Joanie’s Alzheimer’s, had taken her over the last many years – her spirit shinned through to all of us that loved her……….With the loving care of Terri and Phillip; Joanie always looked as if she would be visiting with us about the good times together, at any moment. How fortunate Joanie was to have such caring siblings – Bridget, Amy and Jenny…….always there to visit, always making sure she was cared for, always there to care……………….along with big brother, Albert, John and Jim……………………..Joanie was a role model in many ways – and a person to look up to, when you raise your eyes to the heavens above………….SHE WILL BE LOOKING DOWN AT ME, caring for her big brother and SMILE… guiding light………..
    I LOVE YOU JOANIE as if you were my sister………and will miss you……. hugs, love and prayers…..pam galbraith degen

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