Colonel Jay N. Fisher 3/ 1/1920 ~ 11/13/2011Taps sounded Sunday, November 13, 2011 for Colonel Jay N. Fisher, one of the last heroes of "the greatest generation." A life is so much more than a litany of facts; it is the revelation of character, the validation of principles, and the evidentiary of influence. In each of these respects, Jay N. Fisher was magnificent; his life was a manifesto of duty and dedication to his God, his family, and his country. At 91, he has left a legacy of courage, conviction, and disciplined consecration that will resonate through generations. Jay N. Fisher was born March 1, 1920 in Meadow, Utah to Cecil and Thelma Beckstrand Fisher, stoic pioneer stock who wrenched a meager living from the hard land and harsh climate of Millard County. Even as a boy, he demonstrated the astonishing work ethic and self-discipline that distinguished his entire life. In 1938, after graduating from Millard High School, where he had been a football star, Senior Class President, and nemesis of Seminary, he attended BYU for a year, and then transferred to the Branch Agricultural College, now Southern Utah University, in Cedar City. It was a wonderful year for him, particularly because he, as every other young man in town, was smitten with Carmen Carpenter, whom he had to ask out two months in advance. The following year, having been offered a scholarship, he transferred back to BYU, where he was a track star and the hero of the 440 relay in an Intermountain State Meet. Little did he know that victory on the track was to be a metaphor for his life. Seventy one years later, having finished his long arduous marathon, he could avow with the apostle Paul, "I ran the race that was set before me, I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."In 1941, with war raging in Europe, Jay left school and went to California, intent on joining the RAF. Then came Pearl Harbor. Having persuaded Carmen Carpenter to marry him, they were wed in a civil ceremony on December 22 1941. Two weeks later, he was accepted into officer's training in the newly formed U.S. Army Air Corps. Jay was an exceptional pilot, and has the distinction of being the only individual to have flown every U.S. aircraft in use prior to World War II, and every non-combat aircraft in use during the war. Captain Fisher repeatedly requested to be sent to the frontlines, but the petition was invariably denied on the grounds that "he was too valuable in his exceptional capacity as a trainer." Jay trained many of the glider pilots and paratroopers who alighted in St. Mere Eglise on D Day, the first European town to be liberated from the Nazis.During the Korean War, now Lt. Colonel Fisher was appointed Operations and Training Adviser to the South Korean Air Force. At the end of his tour of duty, in addition to the official commendations and medals, the Korean Government honored him with a very personal symbolic tribute: a solid gold ring, untainted by any alloy, whose purity, they said was a symbol of Colonel Fisher's character. After retiring from a distinguished career in the military, Jay put his Master's Degree in Education to work, embarking on a second career with the Davis County School District. There he developed an innovative program designed to help dropouts earn their GEDs while receiving vocational training. Through "Project Outreach," as it was christened, thousands of dropouts have been empowered to receive an education, earn a living, and develop self-respect.In his later years, Jay returned to his roots as a farmer's son. Even into his ninety first year, he kept an immaculate garden, assiduously tending the 2 1/2 acres he and Carmen had transformed from wild space to garden place forty seven years earlier. He loved his land, which was an analogue of his life. In cultivating these acres, he was really cultivating himself, weeding the weaknesses out of his character, tending the garden of his soul. He had always been a man of integrity and discipline, but most notableand nobleis what he became. Never has anyone more humbly and candidly admitted his shortcomings, nor striven more valiantly to overcome them. At 91, he was a man of extraordinary gentleness, humility, and selfless love.The forces that molded and refined Jay N. Fisher's life were faith in God, devotion to his country, and adoration of his wife, Carmen. His testimony of Christ was the foundation of his character and the blueprint for his life. His patriotism prompted him to offer "his last full measure of devotion" in two wars. His love of Carmen was his life force. She was his inspiration, his guiding light, and, in later years, when weakened by injuries and debilitating health problems beyond medical credibility, his very heart beat. He hung on to life by sheer tenacious will because he did not want to leave her. Though each syllable exacted an agonizing effort, he told her every day to his last breath, that he loved her, and that she was the most wonderful and beautiful lady in the world. General MacArthur famously said that "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away." Not so of Colonel Jay N. Fisher; he is one old warrior who will never, never fade from our hearts.He is survived by his beloved Carmen, and two children, Randal and Deborah, having been predeceased by his eldest son, Ronald. His eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren were counted among his chiefest blessingsJay's family wishes to express gratitude to the many friends and ward members who have been so solicitous and kind. Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at the Fruit Heights 5th Ward Chapel, 24 Country Lane, Fruit Heights. Friends may visit family Saturday from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. at the church. Jay will be buried in the town where he first met Carmen. The grave-side service and Air Force Honor Guard Ceremony will commence at Monday, November 21, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in the Cedar City Cemetery. Services entrusted to Lindquist's Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road. Condolences may be shared at: www.lindquistmortuary.com