Rocky Fisher, who was a fixture behind the barbecue grill at countless Ceres Lions Club and community events over the past several decades and whose service earned him the 2014 “Ceres Citizen of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award,” has died.
Fisher, 71, died suddenly Tuesday evening as he returned home after spending hours barbecuing at an election celebration event for state Assembly candidate Juan Alanis in Turlock.
The death hit the Lions Club community hard, especially longtime friend Ken Lane who has served alongside Fisher.
“He was one of my best friends in the world,” said Lane who spent all Tuesday with Fisher before he passed. “He never knew a stranger. He knew, it seemed like, everybody in the room. If he didn’t he made you feel like he was your best friend by the time you got through talking to him. That’s just how Rocky was – just an angel on earth as far as I’m concerned.”
Fisher was being dropped off in front of his Fowler Road home when he was stricken on the sidewalk. A passerby who was a nurse began administering CPR but he had passed.
“I say it this way because it gives me peace in my own heart,” said Lane, “that when he was going down he was already in Jesus’ hands. He was already gone.”
Fisher, who was born Jan. 8, 1951 in Humansville, Mo., came to Ceres in 1957. He graduated from Ceres High School in 1969 where he was on the track team. He served in the U.S. Army and retired from DSS/Knife River, a heavy construction company, in 2004.
Most of Fisher’s community service was channeled through the Ceres Lions Club, where he served in numerous offices and was once named “Lion of the Year,” but his effort to help others was much broader.
Rocky had been a principal organizer and worker at many Ceres Lions fundraising events, including the Lions Omelet Breakfast in Ceres and Crab Feed. His barbecue skills were put to good use to help raise funds for Ceres schools, Soroptimists, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and the American Cancer Society.
Fisher also worked for the County Fair parking lot fundraising effort and maintenance at Camp Pacifica, a camp for hearing impaired children. He also served as president, vice president and tail twister of the Ceres Lions Club.
Fisher regularly volunteered to man the Arrowhead Club booth at the Stanislaus County Fair, cooked for the Ceres Relay for Life Breakfast and helped with construction projects at Ceres parks and both the Daniel Whitmore Home and Clinton Whitmore Mansion. He also coached Ceres Youth Baseball and delivered food and staples to the needy through the Salvation Army. Fisher also helped maintain the Howard Stevenson Grove at the Ceres River Bluff Regional Park. He also served on the Ceres Street Faire Committee and Whitmore Mansion Committee.
Rocky enjoyed spending time outdoors camping and barbecuing. He belonged to the Turlock Sportsman’s Club and Old Fisherman’s Club.
He and wife Sharon celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on Oct. 30. He leaves behind three children, Jeremy Fisher, Dustin Fisher and Sherrie Richardson, all of Ceres; his brothers, Dennis Fisher (Connie), Randy Fisher (Mary); and grandchildren, Rocky Fisher, Derek Fisher, Lance Fisher and Kadin Richardson, all of Ceres.
He was preceded in death by daughter Tracie Fisher; and his parents Ethel Mae Hampton Fisher and Burris Dono Fisher.