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Dedicated pathologist made mark in his field

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By Jerry Vondas
Saturday, March 15, 2008

A pathologist who served on the board of eight medical and pathologic journals, Dr. Edwin Fisher's contributions have influenced the treatment of thousands of patients with breast cancer in the United States and abroad.

His daughters said that it wasn't until they became adults that they fully understood the scope of their father's accomplishments.

Dr. Edwin R. Fisher of Shadyside, formerly of Squirrel Hill, died on Thursday, March 13, 2008, in Florida. He was 84.

"Dad would often say to Abbe and me that it wasn't enough to just do something well, but to do it with passion and conviction," said Marjorie Baum of Monroeville.

"My father and my uncle, Bernard Fisher, who is a surgeon, have helped to make a difference in the lives of women with breast cancer," she added.

Born and raised in Squirrel Hill, Edwin Fisher was one of two sons in the family of Strip District produce distributor Reuben Fisher and his wife, Anna Miller Fisher.

Following graduation from Taylor Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill in 1941 -- where he was the class president and played on the baseball and basketball teams -- Dr. Fisher went on to receive his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1948.

"Dad could've had a contract to play for the Cincinnati Reds," said Abbe Anolik of Point Breeze. "He felt that a career in baseball was limited, but a career as a doctor was a lifetime commitment of service to others.

"And since Dad didn't have sons to play baseball with, he'd toss baseballs to Marjorie and me in our backyard and take us to Pirates games at Forbes Field," Anolik said. "When we no longer wanted to catch balls, Dad took us golfing."

During his long career as a pathologist, Dr. Fisher saw duty at the Cleveland Clinic, the National Institutes of Health and their Cancer Center in Bethesda, Md., the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Oakland VA Hospital, Shadyside Hospital and Allegheny General Hospital.

Shadyside Hospital honored his 23 years of service by naming its department the Edwin R. Fisher Institute of Pathology in 1993.

Prior to becoming a staff member at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Fisher in 1953 married Carole Levy of Squirrel Hill, whom he met on a blind date. "We just hit it off," said Mrs. Fisher.

"As committed as Dad was with his work, he always made time for us," Baum said. "And although Dad cut back on his work several years ago, he still maintained an office at AGH and read slides."

In addition to his wife and daughters, Dr. Fisher is survived by three grandchildren; and a brother, Dr. Bernard Fisher of Squirrel Hill.

Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday at Ralph Schugar Chapel Inc., 5509 Centre Ave., Shadyside. Visitation will be an hour before services.

Interment will be in Beth Shalom Cemetery, Millvale.

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