Oliver C. Fisher
1876 – 1956
The flag on the Pacific Club was half mast last weekend commemorating the passing of one of the Club’s oldest members: Oliver C. Fisher. Surfman for over thirty years, “OIlie” saw life-saving change from organized volunteers to equipped Life Saving Stations and, finally, to the U. S. Coast Guard Service.
In 1898 he enlisted as surfman at the Madaket station and, in succeeding years, served also at Surfside and Coskata. He was one of the few left who have “pounded the beaches” nightly, regardless of wind, rain, or snow, walking from station to “keypost”, where he greeted the surfman from the other direction , deposited his check, and turned for a three-mile walk back.
Thus were the beaches covered in those days of many wrecks; thus were vessels sighted drifting in the darkness and sometimes small boats with wrecked men saved.
This was the Nantucket service on the shore of the New England waters called by sailors “the Atlantic Graveyard” because of the vast extent of dangerous changing shoals on the southern and eastern sides of the” Island.
This was “Ollie’s” service and interest from his young manhood to his retiring years in 1928. Advancement came with his devotion to the service, with his enrichment of judgment and his absolute trustworthiness, and never-failing good humor. In due time he became “Surfman No. 1” and later received the rank of “bo’s’n’s mate, first class,” and, after World War I he received a certificate that “he performed active service in the U. S. Coast Guard as part of the Navy”.
“Ollie” was brought up on the Fisher Farm in Madaket; his father was Washington Irving Fisher and his mother, Augusta Wing Baker. He married, first, Adelaid R. King and, after her death, Helen L. Gibbs, who survives him. Also surviving are his sister, Mrs. William R. Morris, of Springfield, Mass.; three daughters: Mrs. C. A. Lundquist, of Arlington Heights, Mass., Mrs. Kent K. King, of Nantucket, and Mrs. Andrew Brady, of Nantucket, and six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Many attended the services Tuesday afternoon at the Lewis Funeral Home. The Rev. Clayton E. Richard and his brothers of the Odd Fellows officiated. At the interment service at Prospect Hill Cemetery, the Rev. Robert G. Metters, rector of Emmanuel Church in Boston and an intimate friend of Mr. Fisher, officiated.
Many of his friends have already begun the gathering of a memorial fund to be used for some good purpose by the hospital in the new building. Oliver C. Fisher was a member of the Pacific Club, the Odd Fellows, the American Legion, and the Prospect Hill Cemetery Association.