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Joseph 'Jody' Mitchell Fisher

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Published in December 2022

Joseph (Jody) Mitchell Fisher, a resident of Jamaica Plain, MA, passed away on December 15, 2022 at home with his wife by his side. Jody was born on August 14, 1953 in Waterville, Maine to the late Elmore Fisher and Dr. Samson Fisher. His small town childhood was filled with baseball, mischievous adventures, and the budding of lifelong friendships.

Jody moved to New York City to study poetry, to Washington state to study film and script writing, and to Alaska where he worked as a trucker and fisherman, interspersed with extensive traveling exploring life, poetry, and jazz. At the age of 39, Jody moved south to Alabama where he completed his undergraduate degree in English Literature at Auburn University in Montgomery followed by a Master’s degree in English at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He then went to Simmons College in Boston where he earned a Master’s in Library and Information Science.

Jody’s return to New England would prove permanent, due in large part to falling in love with his cousin’s childhood friend, Eileen Goldberg, whom he proceeded to woo with his beautiful writing. Jody and Eileen wed in 2000 and settled in Jamaica Plain. Jody worked as a librarian for 20 years, first as an Electronic Resource Librarian at the Boston Public Library and then as a Database Librarian and Digital Collections project manager at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Jody earned certification as a Digital Archives Specialist and authored Ahab’s Leg, a collection of poems and essays.

In his mid-50’s, Jody was diagnosed with ALS. Over the next 15 years, this insidious disease slowly robbed him of his ability to ski, to travel, to walk, to work, to eat, to talk, and finally to live. Yet throughout his illness, as his life, Jody retained his abiding intellectual curiosity and love of music and poetry. His positivity radiated through to everyone he met. He stayed true to his family and friends and communicated his love passionately and eloquently as you would expect from such an avid lover of words and music.

Jody is survived by his wife Eileen; his sisters Annie and Amanda; his cousin and great friend Susan; nieces Rebekah, Mai, Isa, Toby, Lilly, nephew Max, great nieces Elena and Maya, and many other extended family members. He was predeceased by his nephew Michael. Jody was a loyal friend to many- he loved and was loved in return.

Jody’s wife Eileen, on behalf of Jody, his family and friends, would like to extend their sincere gratitude to Jody’s entire medical team: the doctors and staff at MGH’s ALS Clinic; Boston Children’s Waltham Augmentative Communication Program; his home caregivers who became part of the family; the Compassionate Care ALS Foundation; and the ALS Association. Your guidance, care and support gave Jody a better quality of life, one with adventures and dignity. To each one of you, for the part you played, Thank You from the bottom of our hearts.