November 14, 2021
William “Bill” Fisher, 93, of Lancaster, retired sports editor of the Lancaster Sunday News, strode purposely off this mortal coil onto what we hope is the golf course of heaven, where he will continue to play past those who are too slow. Bill died November 14, 2021, predeceased by his beloved wife Arlene in 2019. They were married 62 years. Bill lived in his home until the end where he contentedly read books and watched Penn State football. Thank you to Lancaster Hospice & Community Care for helping make this possible. Bill is survived by his daughters Mary Paton – who lived with and cared for him after Arlene died, and her children Elizabeth Paton (Tomas) and Dylan (Claire) and their twins Lydia and Abigail, Bill’s great granddaughters who visited often and brought him great joy – and Ann Jungels and her children William (Shalyn) and Henry Jungels – who inherited Bill’s robust enthusiasm for sports and enjoyed their trips together to Beaver Stadium. Bill was born in Walkersville, Md., the son of the Reverend John and Henrietta Fisher, and brother to Lizette, Max and Eugene, all deceased. Bill graduated from Lemoyne (Pa.) High School (1946) and Lebanon Valley College (1950). He served in the Army during 1950-52, stationed in the German peace-keeping force, where he managed to go to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics while on leave. Sports were never far from his heart. Though he started his newspaper sports writing career at the Milton Evening Standard, it was at Lancaster Newspapers where he made his mark. Bill chronicled the characters and chicanery, the famous and the strivers of the local sports scene. He interviewed Muhammad Ali at his Poconos training camp, stood up to McCaskey High School’s bombastic Jack Cassebaum, and was part of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s inner circle of reporters. He covered World Series, track meets, prize fights and college Bowl games. A teetotaler, Bill drank ginger ale in the dark, smoky bars of yore, hanging with the guys and gathering his intel. Bill loved his job. Bill was an award-winning sportswriter, whose detail-oriented, stem-winding stories began appearing in “Best Sports Stories” anthologies in the 1950s. Bill was part of the venerable tradition of entertaining, investigative sports writers – Grantland Rice, Dick Young and Red Smith – and generously passed along his passion to subsequent generations of writers. Bill’s columns like “Sports Shorts of All Sorts” were required reading on Sunday mornings. Bill was inducted into many local and state Sports Halls of Fame. Bill always had the best seat in the house – at ringside, on the track and in the press box – and was determined to bring his readers along with him. In the newsroom he met his wife Arlene who informed him on the day he retired, some 40 years later, that he needed a hobby, so he started making birdhouses, built from abandoned barn wood and flea market finds. He and Arlene, an artist, spent 20+ years selling their wares at arts and crafts shows. They loved to travel around the U.S. and Europe. Bill lived a full retirement, spending winters in Florida, going out to breakfasts and golfing with his great group of friends. He was a member of Covenant United Methodist Church. Bill was a connoisseur of the written word. He believed in facts. Everywhere he traveled, he would buy a local newspaper. He lived a wonderful life. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 from 10 – 11 a.m. followed by a Life Celebration at 11 a.m. at The Groffs Family Funeral Home, 528 W. Orange Street, Lancaster, Pa. Interment will be private, immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a fund in his name with the goal of starting a sports journalism scholarship. Send donations to the Penn Manor Education Foundation (PMEF), PO Box 1001, Millersville, Pa. 17551; please note Bill’s name.
William “Bill” Fisher, 93, of Lancaster, retired sports editor of the Lancaster Sunday News, strode purposely off this mortal coil onto what we hope is the golf course of heaven, where he will continue to play past those who are... View Obituary & Service Information
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