Cover photo for Willard "Will" Bailey Fisher, Jr's Obituary
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Willard "Will" Bailey Fisher, Jr

June 23, 1950 — March 5, 2024


Willard "Will" Bailey Fisher, Jr

Willard "Will" Bailey Fisher, Jr, 73, of Maumelle AR passed away on March 5, 2024. He was born June 23, 1950 in San Antonio, Texas to Willard Bailey Fisher, Sr and Evelyn Linl (Lassig) Fisher.

As the son of an Army Sergeant and AirForce Major, Will and his siblings were introduced to a world of cultures in Okinawa, The Philippine Islands, Germany, Taiwan, and eight military bases across the United States. As he grew up, he participated in the Boy Scouts, played Football and Lacrosse, and was on the Swim Team. Prior to graduating from High School at New Mexico Military Institute, he and his siblings lost their mother in a tragic train/car accident while in Taipei, Taiwan.  After graduation he went to his sister’s home in California and started his college education. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in English at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois, and his Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling at Texas A&M, Texarkana, Texas.

Will met his wife, Debbie, of 42 years in Texarkana, Arkansas in 1980 and they married in 1981. They spent six years enjoying being married, attending music concerts and spontaneously traveling. Then, in October 1987 they welcomed a beautiful baby daughter, Evelyn ‘Celeste’ Fisher. Before they realized it, they welcomed a handsome baby son, Gabriel Clinton Fisher, on December 12, 1989. It was a delight to raise them and watch for the years ahead filled with swimming, soccer, baseball, tennis, and Boy/Girl Scouts. During Will’s 25 years with the Pulaski County Special School District, he had his summers free, so he took care of Celeste and Gabe, and shared his love of music, history, and art and took them to museums, libraries, movies, and the zoo.

Will was a kind, strong, and giving person with his family, friends and all others during his professional career. Still grieving his mother’s death, he left California to go to Chicago in November of 1969 to join the Gospel Brothers, a group of four Franciscan Friars living under the auspices of the Catholic Worker Movement, working with the poor and drug/alcohol addicted. After finishing his Bachelor’s Degree, he moved back to Texas to complete his Masters in Guidance Counseling.  He became a Case manager and coordinated services and developed treatment goals for developmentally disabled adults in a Sheltered Workshop. He also worked weekends supervising some of the same men in a group home.  After a few years, he and his wife moved to Little Rock, Arkansas for another job opportunity. He was a Permanency Plan Reviewer for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Foster Care.  He traveled the state to ensure that the plans were appropriate for the child’s needs and safety.  His next position involved rehabilitation counseling and traveling to injured men and women’s homes to assess their abilities and assist them in obtaining substantial work in their community. During his 25 years with the Pulaski County Special School District, he was a Guidance Counselor with at-risk youth and their families. He started a chess club and led competitions with other area schools.  After retiring he frequently ran into previous students who thanked him for listening and helping them. In addition, he continued to reach out and help others by volunteering to teach English as a second language. 

His strength showed over the years when he survived Colon Cancer involving surgery to remove 1/3 of his colon, his appendix, his spleen and six months of weekly chemotherapy. Then after being diagnosed with prostate cancer which required removal of his prostate, he also had two hernias related to his surgeries which required placing mesh in his abdomen, one in Little Rock and another by a specialist in Tennessee. During all his surgeries and a broken wrist, he was amazingly strong and in good humor. His faith in God and Jesus, his family, and his many hobbies and collections were extremely helpful. He loved going to Mass and to midweek trips to the church to pray with his good friend and neighbor, Mike Auletta.  Reading, writing poetry, studying history, listening to all kinds of music, watching all kinds of sports, and taking walks were just a few of his interests. His collections include crosses from all over the world, fountain pens, chess sets, baseball cards, and sports Caps/Jerseys. His largest collection is non-fiction books especially about history and cultures. His second was collecting albums and CDs of classical and jazz music and his favorites by The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, and many more. His favorite place to go on Saturdays was a store called Been Around Records/CDs in Little Rock. It is owned and operated by his close friend, John Harris.

Will is preceded in death by his Parents: Father, Willard B Fisher, Sr; Mother, Evelyn Lassig Fisher; Second-Mother, Gerda Fisher; and Brother, Keith Fisher.

Will is survived by his Wife: Debbie (Green) Fisher, Maumelle, Arkansas; Children: Gabriel Fisher, Maumelle, Arkansas, Evelyn Celeste (Fisher) Helms (Phil), Little Rock, Arkansas; Grandchildren: Abigail Jane Farrell, William (Liam) Helms; and Ainsley Helms, Little Rock, Arkansas; Siblings: Four Sisters: Madeline and Mike Lybarger, Bend, Oregon; Pam and Jeff Carter, Bristol, Vermont; Heidi and Jeff Dosier, Belleville, Illinois; Lisa Belt, Bend, Oregon and many nieces, nephews, and their children.

A memorial service will be held Friday, March 15, 2024 beginning at 11:00 a.m. with visitation and reception to follow at Smith Little Rock Funeral Home, 8801 Knoedl Court, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205. Inurnment will occur at a later date at Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77079.

He will be missed greatly by his family and friends.  

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Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, March 15, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home Little Rock

8801 Knoedl Ct., Little Rock, AR 72205

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