Charles S. Fisher Jr. and Ella Marie Fisher Law Scholarship Fund Created
Charles S. Fisher Jr., bs ’49 and jd ’51, had a passion for life that he demonstrated throughout his career as a top trial attorney, as an adjunct professor, as a military man, and as an outdoorsman and dedicated family man.
A native Topekan, Fisher earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washburn University in 1949. He pursued his passion for debate and moot court while attending Washburn Law, activities which he said contributed to his successful career as a litigator. He also served on the Washburn Law Journal Board of Editors in 1951.
After earning his law degree, Fisher refined his skills in the courtroom and became one of Kansas’ preeminent trial attorneys. He was listed in every edition of the Best Lawyers in America under the category of Personal Injury for Plaintiff during his many years of practice.
Fisher generously volunteered his time to help others, and for approximately 13 years taught Evidence and Trial Practice at Washburn Law. “I had such respect for adjunct faculty and was honored to be asked to join them,” Fisher said in a previous interview.
He thoroughly enjoyed his role in bringing practical experience to the classroom. “Keeping students challenged and interested were the most challenging aspects of teaching,” he had said. He often told his students that having a law degree does not in and of itself make a qualified lawyer and that total preparation and integrity are the keys to being a good lawyer. “A passion for the profession and for integrity is essential,” he had said.
Fisher deeply enjoyed life with his wife, Ella Marie, who also attended Washburn University, and with their blended family in Topeka and at their home in the Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, Fla. The family includes Charles’ three sons, Michael, Mark, and Charles III, and four daughters, Cheryl Cailteux, Linda Spencer, aa ’90, Janet Webster, and Anita Longoria. The association with Washburn continued with Ella Marie’s daughters, Vicki Peterson, ba ’64, and husband, Gary, bba ’63, jd ’76; Kay Mettner and husband, Randy, ba ’70 and jd ’75; Sue Bolley, BEd ’91, and Cindy Sundgren.
After more than 50 years as a member of the Kansas Bar, Fisher retired in 2004 as a partner with the prestigious Topeka law firm of Fisher, Cavanaugh, Smith & Lemon, PA. He was respected by his peers and served as president of both the Topeka Bar Association and of the Kansas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Charles died on Oct. 26, 2007, and Ella Marie passed away on Oct. 28, 2011. Now, with the assistance of daughter and son-in-law Vicki and Gary Peterson, the Charles S. Fisher Jr., and Ella Marie Fisher Law Scholarship at the Washburn University School of Law has been funded.