On behalf of Thomas W. Needham, Headmaster:
Reverend Fisher’s family has shared his obituary with the Hill Top community; it is a fitting tribute for our dear friend and co-founder, James H. Fisher.
We thank you for sharing your condolences and fond memories of Reverend Fisher. He played an integral role in the lives of so many of Hill Top’s students; his legacy will continue to live on through our mission.
Reverend James H. Fisher, 78, resident of Salisbury Township, Allentown, PA and formerly of Berwyn, PA, passed away on July 15, 2014. He was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather, as well as a pastor, counselor and educator. Born on February 22, 1936 to Mary Annette Wallace and Howard Delbert Fisher in Rochester, PA, Jim was raised in Rochester and upon graduating from High School, attended Gettysburg College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. He then attended The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, where he received his Master’s Degree in Divinity. Upon leaving the seminary, Jim was called to serve at The First Lutheran Church in Johnstown, PA, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Allentown, PA and finally St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Devon, PA. In 1974, Jim left the ministry to join his wife, Elissa L. Fisher, who had together, co-founded The Hill Top Preparatory School in Rosemont, PA., three years earlier. For the next 25 years, Elissa and Jim built a model educational institution, meeting the needs of learning disabled adolescents. As the Director of Counseling, Jim headed the school’s clinical program, which was unique in private education at that time, and an invaluable component of the school’s educational philosophy. His positive impact on the students that passed through Hill Top was a source of great pride for him, and the source of many fond memories for the school’s attendees. Upon retirement, Jim continued to work with his wife as an educational consultant, serving the needs of his community. Since 1976, Jim and his family have attended The St. David’s Episcopal Church in Wayne, PA. While there, Jim served in a number of capacities in support of that parish’s many missions. As music was a great love of Jim’s, he was a member of the Choir at St. David’s for nearly 30 years. His wit, wisdom, and counsel will be greatly missed. Jim is survived by his wife of 58 years, Elissa L. Fisher; his son, William J. Fisher, daughter-in-law, Cynthia L. Fisher, and grandchildren Kelsey E. Fisher and Nicholas J. Fisher, of Allentown, PA; his daughter Deborah Fisher McKenna, son-in-law J. Neill McKenna, and grandchildren Cana M. McKenna and Keely M. McKenna of Wayne, PA.
A Memorial Service for The Reverend James H. Fisher will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at The St. David’s Episcopal Church, 763 S. Valley Forge Road, Wayne, PA 19087. A reception will follow immediately at the church. Contributions may be made in Reverend Fisher’s memory to The Hill Top Preparatory School, 737 S. Ithan Ave., Rosemont, PA 19010 or to The Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company, 3425 Eisenhower Ave., Allentown, PA 18103.