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Published: Friday, 6/13/2003

Owner of auto repair center prospered in Liberty Center

LIBERTY CENTER, Ohio - Robert Fisher, 79, a respected entrepreneur here, died Tuesday in the Northcrest Nursing Home, Napoleon.

Mr. Fisher died of a kidney failure brought on by complications from a recent stroke, his daughter, B.J. Stiles, said.

A 1941 graduate of Defiance High School,

While in the service, Mr. Fisher was married to Winona Simendinger on June 11, 1944.

Discharged in February, 1946, Mr. Fisher went into business with his father, Warren. Together they ran the Fisher Auto Repair in Liberty Center, converting the rooms above the business into a home for the entire family.

After his father retired, Mr. Fisher took over the business, then built his own building across the street: Fisher Gulf Service Center, which opened in 1967. In addition to working as a mechanic, Mr. Fisher owned and operated a tow truck, AAA service, and went into real estate, purchasing several other Liberty Center properties.

“He was an astute businessman,” Ms. Stiles said. “He found a way to make money out of anything.”

After 30 years working at the service center, Mr. Fisher retired in 1977, largely due to his rheumatoid arthritis.

Mr. Fisher was a member of Liberty Center United Methodist Church; Masonic Lodge 518, of which he was a past master; Scottish Rite, Valley of Toledo; Wauseon Chapter Order of the Eastern Star, of which he was a past patron; Gilbert-Baughman Post 492 American Legion and a charter member of Liberty Center Volunteer Fire Department.

Surviving are his wife, Winnie; daughter, B.J. Stiles; son, Roger; eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 3 p.m. today in Liberty Center United Methodist Church, where friends may visit from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A Henry County Firefighters Association service will then be held at 2:30 p.m., followed by a Masonic service at 2:45 p.m. The Wright Funeral Home, Grand Rapids, Ohio, is handling arrangements.

The family requests tributes to the Liberty Center Sports Complex or a charity of the donor's choice.

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