Gary Henry Fisher, DDS, beloved husband, father, and grandfather and longtime Central Valley dentist, died peacefully on March 20th, 2022, following a brief hospitalization and after many years of fighting multiple cancers with a tenacity equaled only by his love for his wife, Lea.
Born in Midland, Mich., Dr. Fisher moved to Empire with his family as a boy. After graduating from Modesto High School in 1953, he trained as a pharmacist. In 1959 he received a Commission in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the U.S.S. Frontier at Naval Station Pearl Harbor in Hawai’i, where he met his first wife, Marjorie Odessey. The couple married in 1963 and relocated to San Francisco where Dr. Fisher completed his training at the University of California School of Dentistry. He established in private practice in San Carlos on the Bay Area peninsula, where daughters Carolyn and Jean were born.
Called by country life, Dr. Fisher returned to the Central Valley in the mid-1970s, settling in Patterson. In the early 1980s, he opened a dental practice in Gustine, where he worked for more than a decade before establishing in Turlock, where he practiced until his retirement in 2008. He loved dentistry, most of all his patients and many loyal staff members. He was an accomplished gardener and home cook and, despite his sometimes stern exterior, a secret softie. After reading E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web to his young daughters, he allowed a large garden spider – named Charlotte, of course – to build a web in the mud room of the family’s farmhouse.
In retirement, Dr. Fisher moved to southwest Oregon with his wife of 33 years, Lea Fisher. He remained happy and content, even as the pain of his illness progressed, and found joy whiling away the hours with Lea, his devoted canine companion Winston, and a fine cigar.
Dr. Fisher is survived by his wife, Lea Fisher of Winston, Ore., daughters Carolyn Fisher of Sacramento, and Jean Fisher Brinkley of Raleigh N.C., granddaughters Sofia and Juliet Brinkley, stepdaughter Fawn Cavaiani of Winston, Ore., and step-grandchildren Alexa, Collin, and Daniel Cavaiani and Madisyn Jimenez.
Services will be private. The family asks that those wishing to make a memorial donation in Dr. Fisher’s name give to their favorite charity.