James Thomas (Tom) Fiser, Christ-follower, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend completed his long walk home May 22, 2020. We trust he is face-to-face with his savior and that he is enjoying a fine reunion with his son. God blessed Tom with intellectual curiosity, optimism, determination, a kind spirit, and a wonderful smile. He was born July 18, 1938 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the first of five children born to Thomas Fiser and Mary Elizabeth Page Fiser. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Dr. Tad Fiser, his brother, Robert Fiser and his sister, Kathy Fiser Shackelford.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra Nuckolls Fiser, his daughter, Leigh Fiser Compton (Brian), his daughter-in-law, Laura Dixon Fiser, his grandchildren, Ben (Emily), Hannah, Claire, Samantha, and Zachery, and his sisters, Jean Fiser Geiger of Little Rock and Marilyn Fiser Elder of Grand Junction, TN, as well as a host of family and friends
Tom grew up on a dairy farm near Sweet Home, Arkansas, raising and showing prize-winning livestock, but from an early age his true passion was flying. As a teen he was active in Civil Air Patrol as he worked to pay for flying lessons, receiving his pilot's license before he received his driver's license. He was nominated to attend the second class of the United States Air Force Academy only to lose that dream to astigmatism. Not to be deterred from flight, Tom became a charter pilot for Central Flying Service.
Tom received the first B.S. in Physics offered by Little Rock University and obtained an M.S. from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Upon graduation he went to work in the research development department of Dow-Smith, later A.O. Smith-Inland, Inc. where he developed two patents and enjoyed the privilege of being the project manager who built the plant for the production of his product. In the 1980's Tom left A.O. Smith-Inland to form and run his own business, FMN Industries, Inc., which he did until heart disease made that impossible.
On Ash Wednesday, 2003, Tom received a heart transplant at The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. In awe of the generous gift of life that he had received, Tom chose Ezekiel 36:26 as his life verse believing that God had granted him a second chance and an opportunity to influence others for good. Following that he and his wife wrote a memoir of their journey through heart disease which is still used as a teaching-tool in Cleveland.
Ready for change Tom and Sandra moved to Perry County where Tom developed an interest in keeping honey bees and in making wine from the fruit in their orchard. He also began his final, and perhaps best-loved, career as a Physics professor at Pulaski Tech where he taught for 12 years.
Tom served the churches to which he belonged in several capacities, often working with the youth. He was for many years an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 395. He served on the board of the Arkansas Donor Family Council following his heart transplant. Tom was an early board member for Wildwood Park for the Arts. He was a member of Rotary International Club 99 and a Paul Harris Fellow.
The family would like to thank Dr. Robert Hopkins, Dr.Andrew Kumpuris, Dr. Michael Bauer, Dr. Steve Hutchins, Lola Fish, and Dr. Shane Kimball and the nurses at Fresenius for the outstanding and compassionate care Tom received over the years, as well as Arkansas Hospice for their care.
There will be a private family graveside service at Pinecrest Memorial Park. Plans for a celebration of Tom's life at a later date will be announced.
Memorials may be made to Fellowship Bible Church, 1401 Kirk Road, Little Rock, AR 72223, the Arkansass Donor Family Council, P.O. Box 464, Farmington, AR 72730, or Arkansas Hospice Foundation, 14 Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock, AR72116.
Arrangements are by Little Rock Funeral Home, 8801 Knoedl Ct., Little Rock, AR 72205, (501) 224-2200. Tom's online guestbook may be signed at www.littlerockfuneralhome.com
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