George Fisher

Edwardsville 06/09/2019

George Fisher was born on October 20, 1924 to Bertha Wormhoudt and George Fisher, he was later adopted by his stepfather, William Josse.

George was an extraordinary human being who lived an extraordinary life. He was a Golden Gloves boxer, a talented percussionist, a jazz music expert, a gifted psychologist and a man whose compassion and good humor extended to everyone he met.

George grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and enlisted in the US Army as a litter bearer, choosing not to carry a gun but to carry the lives and sometimes the bodies of his fellow soldiers during the Second World War. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his exemplary service. 

Returning from the War, George worked and played drums in jazz ensembles throughout the Midwest. When the time came to chose a profession, he moved to Carbondale to attend Southern Illinois University, where he earned a Ph.D. In psychology and began a career in community mental health.

Raised by his mother and his sister, living and playing alongside men and women of color, opening his heart to all, George became deeply involved in civil rights efforts. He marched, supported crucial conversations about race and activism and even left Cairo, Illinois, only when he received death threats because of his support for African American citizens.

George met his wife, Jane Zebold, also a psychologist, at SIUC, and they both worked at Alton Mental Health Center for many years. After Jane's death in 1975, George married Gay Arlene Lawrence, and together they established a rich life that welcomes family, friends, and political and sports enthusiasts who argue with passion and civility.

George loved the peace and solitude of the outdoors, especially fishing in lakes and rivers, where he could launch his small boat, smoke his pipe, and knowing that 'nobody would ask what you were doing.' 

Humble and modest, he nevertheless loved boxing, music, sports, CNN, documentaries and old movies, hats, cargo pants, watches, razors, knives and limericks. Most of all, he loved his companion and partner in crime and passion, Gay.

George leaves behind a crowd of friends and family which includes his wife: Gay of Edwardsville, his brother: John of Seattle, Washington, his brother in law: Eugene Lawrence of Roxana, his nieces: Ann Raney and Robyn Luzietti of Evanston, Illinois, Sue and Rob Leet of Seattle, Washington, Jenny and Wes Gardiner of Palo Alto, California, Jen and Jimmy Herring of Wood River, his nephews: Clark and Carol Raney of Greensboro, North Carolina, John and Pat Raney of Grand Lake, Colorado, Paul and Judy Josse of Lincoln, California, Patrick and Kim Lawrence of Alton, Jon Lawrence of Rosewood Heights, and his special great nieces: Jacey Humphries of Wood River, and Callie Lawrence of Alton.

In accordance with his wishes, cremation rites will be accorded.  In celebration of his life, memorial visitation will be from 3pm until time of memorial services at 5:30pm on Friday, June 14, 2019, at Pitchford Funeral Home in Wood River. 

Memorials are suggested to BJC Hospice of Alton or NAMI Southwestern Illinois, 2100 Madison Avenue, Granite City, Illinois 62040 and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online guestbook available at

Obit Provided By:
Pitchford Funeral Home

Subscribe for FREE today.
Get breaking news, sports, obits, shop local deals, weather forecasts, classifieds, video and more delivered directly to your email inbox.

We want to hear from you. Provide your thoughts and comments below.

Follow Us

200 W. Third Street | Alton, IL 62002
Suite 200