Albert “Ike” Frank Fischer was welcomed Home for Supper Time on June 1, 2020.
He was greeted by his beloved parents, Paul and Martha Bremer Fischer, sisters Frances (Lester Johnston, and Orville) Kennard, Ruth (Louis) Herbst, Rose (Bill) Ebeltoft, and brother Martin “Bud” Fischer, his grandparents, father- and mother-in-law Albert and Helen Haas, brothers-in-law Duane “Bud” (Grace Hert) Haas and Donald (Jean) Haas, several nephews, many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, military and VFW comrades, and a lifetime of good dogs.
Ike was born in Frazee on June 12, 1921, in the home built for his family by Paul Fischer’s coworkers after he lost the use of one arm in a Frazee sawmill accident. Two years later, the home was relocated to the Fischer/Bremer homestead after Paul Fischer’s untimely death, where it stood sentinel in the farmyard for the rest of Ike’s life.
In a world rocked by the Great Depression, the Fischers lived a life of resilience and abundance. They enjoyed countless meals of fresh fish, raised ducks and geese for customers in town, sold strawberries, had the popcorn vending business at the Frazee movie theater, worked hard every day, and got into a lot of mischief.
Ike greatly valued education. He had to leave high school early to work on the family farm, but he continued to eagerly learn throughout his life and attended vocational classes on the GI Bill to gain agricultural knowledge. He later took courses on drafting and cabinet making so he could design and build a new family home on the farm site.
Ike strongly believed in taking opportunities when they’re presented. In his early adulthood, he was working for a farmer in southern Minnesota when the United States entered World War II. He was drafted and served in the Army Air Force, in the Sicilian, Naples Foggia, and Rome Arno Campaigns.
Decorations and citations included the Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Star GO 136 Headquarters 12th Air Force, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, and five Overseas Service Bars. The train ride back home from Minneapolis to the Frazee farm was one of the loneliest times in his life.
He searched 15 more years before finding his perfect wife, Helen “Larene” Haas of LeMars, Iowa. The couple married September 16, 1960 and enjoyed many years of anniversary trips and other travel adventures. Everywhere they went, they made new friends and took along extra suitcases so they could bring back new treasures for their rock garden.
Ike served in leadership roles with groups including Frazee Care Center, VFW Post #7702, Becker County Parks and Recreation, and Frazee’s Sportsmans Club, Community Club, Lions, Sled Dog Club, United Methodist Church, Neighbor to Neighbor, and Event Center planning committee, and he was active in a great number of other groups and activities.
He was a Burlington Township Supervisor for over 25 years, created East Becker County ski trails on the farm property, and conducted Soil and Water Conservation District 5th grade school tours for 50 years. He was instrumental in state legislation to relieve property owners of liability for hosting free events.
He was especially proud of being named as Turkey Days Grand Marshall and Becker County Senior Citizen of the Year, and of shepherding his family in attaining Century Farm status (2001) and affiliating with the Minnesota Land Trust.
If he wasn’t farming, instigating projects or dreaming up the next family float for the Turkey Days parade, Ike was looking for new tree planting and lumber mill work accomplices.
He had the great pleasure of sharing his life experiences with readers of the “So Ike Says” column in the Frazee Forum, as well as with anyone who took time to listen. He spoke to high school and college classes and instilled the message to take every opportunity that is granted and see where it might lead.
His life will be continually celebrated by his wife Larene, their daughter and son-in-law Lori and Donald Thorp, grandsons Martin (Toni McHugo) and Roger (Kayla Andersen), all of Frazee, step-grandson Samuel (Loreal) Thorp and family, step-granddaughter Tracy Foster and family, nieces, nephews, friends, and one last good dog.
Ike was forward-thinking as always, and hosted his own “funeral” on his 97th birthday. Private military rites will occur at the family’s Century Farm on the evening of Ike’s 99th birthday, concluding with Taps. Please hold the family in your thoughts at that time.
~submitted by family
Private family interment with Military Honors will be held at a later date.