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Published: Tuesday, 2/14/2006

Swanton resident bred Welsh corgis

SWANTON - JoAnn Rae Fisher, who worked for the former Pilliod Cabinet Co. for eight years and was renowned among family and friends for her baking and her love for animals, died Monday in St. Luke's Hospital.

Mrs. Fisher, 49, died from sarcoidosis of the lungs after 18 years of coping with the disease, said Mike Fisher, a brother-in-law.

Born in Toledo as JoAnn Beringer, she was a 1976 graduate of Rogers High School and married David Fisher in 1978.

Mike Fisher said the campground at Harrison Lake State Park in northwestern Fulton County where his brother proposed to "Jo" became a special place for the couple, and they camped there often.

"She just loved the outdoors," the brother-in-law said.

She was hired at Pilliod after graduating from high school and worked there until 1984.

Mrs. Fisher enjoyed breeding Pembroke Welsh corgi dogs and took in and cared for scores of animals at the family home in Swanton Township next to the Ohio Turnpike. The Fisher menagerie often included ducks, geese, dogs, cats, various reptiles and amphibians, and often dozens of rabbits.

Daughters Lisa and Jessi Fisher inherited their mother's love for animals and are both studying to become veterinarians, Mike Fisher said.

Mrs. Fisher's baking talent was exemplified by the extravagantly decorated cakes she made for family occasions.

Mike Fisher said he will always remember his sister-in-law as "smiling and gracious," and as a person who never complained about her illness even as it worsened. She had been to hospital emergency rooms several times in recent weeks and was admitted to St. Luke's on Sunday.

"She always just kept going," Mr. Fisher said.

Surviving are her husband of 27 years, David; daughters, Lisa and Jessi Fisher; mother and stepfather, Helen and Richard Jaeger; brothers, Fred and Thomas Beringer and Chris Jaeger, and sisters, Cathy Bumbaugh and Raechel Miller.

The body will be in the Neville Funeral Home, Southwest Chapel, 7438 Airport Hwy., where the family will receive visitors from 4 to 9 p.m. tomorrow. A memorial Mass will be held at St. Richard's Catholic Church, Swanton, at a time to be announced later.

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