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