Nov. 21, 1920 - Aug. 29, 2012
Charley Herman Fisher Jr., of Buffalo, a retired union electrician who was active in Masonic organizations, died last Wednesday. The father of former Buffalo Council Member Charley H. Fisher III was 91.
Mr. Fisher had a 30-year career at Westinghouse Electric Co., joining as an entry-level worker in 1955 and retiring as the highest-paid hourly employee. He was part of a team that traveled around the nation installing turbine power systems.
He was the first African-American to be elected shop steward for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers here.
Born in Alexandria, La., he graduated from high school there and attended Southern University until he suffered a near-fatal illness. He later earned degrees in power, electrical testing and general electronics from Erie County Technical Institute, now Erie Community College.
Mr. Fisher was a 65-year member of Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church and served as chairman of its finance committee for 25 years.
In 1947, he became a member of St. John's Lodge 16, Prince Hall Masons. He was elected worshipful master in 1971 and was appointed special deputy in 1976, overseeing Master Craftsman Lodge 110 as it became a full chartered lodge. He also was appointed grand senior deacon.
In 1973, he was elected commander in chief of Bison Consistory 29, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Prince Hall Affiliation. He later became a 33rd Degree Mason and was elected treasurer of the Council of Deliberation, serving statewide for 12 years.
He also was elected Potentate of Hadji Temple 61, Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order, Nobles Mystic Shrine, in 1973, and went on to become Deputy of the Oasis. He later was elected excellent high priest of Companion Chapter 35, Royal Arch Masons, and was appointed district deputy grand high priest.
Mr. Fisher was a 70-year member of Elite Lodge 119, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and served as Elks state director of education and secretary of New York State.
His wife of 50 years, Mary Neely Fisher, died in 1997.
In addition to his son, survivors include two sisters, Florence Fisher-Rogers and Irma Lorraine Fisher.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today in Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, 641 Masten Ave.