Published March 13, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated March 13, 2023 at 8:58 a.m.
Jonathan Waters Fisher died peacefully on October 24, 2022, at the University of Vermont Medical Center after a short, aggressive battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He was gentle, kind and generous and a devoted son, brother, father, grandfather and friend.
Jonathan was born to Sally and Ralph Fisher on June 11, 1948, in Washington, D.C. He lived in Korea, Ethiopia, Rhodesia, Nyasaland and Uganda while his family was stationed abroad with the foreign service.
Jonathan graduated from the Middlesex School in 1966, where he played soccer and rowed. He graduated from Pomona College in 1971 with a degree in anthropology, after studying primatology with Alan Walker at Makerere University in Uganda. Jonathan earned his master’s in public health at Yale University in 1979, after working on a country-wide nutrition survey in Lesotho.
Between his studies, Jonathan spent time motorcycling across Europe, working in the sugarcane fields of Kauai, summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and road-tripping across Africa in a VW Beetle, homesteading with his brothers in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, traveling to Central America by VW Bus and working at Plantation Farm Camp in northern California.
In 1981, Jonathan began working at the University of Vermont on a USAID grant that brought him to Honduras, Haiti and Uganda. He met his wife, Molly McClaskey, while working at UVM, and they married in 1984.
Jonathan became a father to his son, William, in 1987 and his daughter, Emily, in 1990. Jonathan was an incredibly involved and supportive father and cheerleader, coaching soccer teams and attending mountain-bike races, horse shows, and ski races. At this time, he transitioned to working as a realtor with Akin Associates in Charlotte, Vt. From 1990-2021, Jonathan served Charlotte as a volunteer zoning board member in various roles, including zoning administrator, chairman and vice chairman.
In 2014, Jonathan became a devoted “Baba” to his granddaughter, Sage, and grandson, August, in 2017. His third grandchild is expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Jonathan found great joy in his active role as a grandparent and was deeply dedicated to his family. He traveled to Kauai, Hawaii, every winter to reconnect with his extended family in Hanalei Bay.
Jonathan is survived by his son, William Fisher, and wife, Lindsay Bloxham Fisher; grandchildren, Sage and August Fisher, of Burlington; daughter, Emily Fisher, and husband, Dwyer Haney, of Starksboro; brothers Galen Fisher of Greensboro, Timothy Fisher of Cornwall, and Anthony Fisher of Philadelphia; and ex-wife, Molly McClaskey, of Charlotte.
A celebration of life will be held Monday, May 29, 2023, at 2:00 p.m., at Kingsland Bay State Park in Ferrisburgh, Vt. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations please be made in Jonathan’s name to the Vermont Land Trust.