Donald “Don” J. Fischer

Donald J. Fischer, 76, Bismarck, N.D. died Jan. 9, 2013, at St. Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck.

Donald J. Fischer
Donald J. Fischer

Posted Jan. 17, 2013

Don was born Dec. 14, 1936, to Leonard and Clara (Domagala) Fischer in Rhame, N.D., where he was raised and attended grade school and high school. Don grew up on a farm and especially loved working with horses. Horses played a large part in his recovery from a stroke later on in life. He attended St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minn. He spent four years at the St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. In 1963, Don was ordained into the priesthood in Rhame. He served Little Flower Catholic Church, Minot, N.D. and taught at Bishop Ryan High School, Minot. Don went on to serve St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Dickinson. He also taught and counseled students at Trinity High School as well as served as chaplain at Dickinson State University.

During his time in Bismarck, Don had many assignments. He served at St. Anne’s Catholic Church and Corpus Christi Catholic Church, was Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Bismarck, started the Pre-Marriage Education Program for the Bismarck- Mandan area and conducted Marriage Encounter Groups throughout the Diocese of Bismarck. From 1978 to 1983, Don worked on the development and organization of Spirit of Life Catholic Church.

On Jan. 13, 1984, Don married Nancy K. Greig in Bismarck. Don then received a master’s degree in Counseling from the University of North Dakota and started a career in counseling. In 2003, Don started working at the North Dakota Youth Correctional Center and was going to retire in December.

Those plans were cut short due to his recent illness. His dedication to the children was inspirational and he saw it as a great privilege to work with them. With an unconditional love Don had a special fondness for his entire family; grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews; with a very special place in his heart for Cody, Mike, Kaylee, Kurra, Cole, McKenzi, Santana, Carsyn, Abby, Gabriel, Brayden, Landon and Grace.

Generosity, gentleness and kindness are just a few of the attributes this amazing man had that made everyone who knew him feel special. It didn’t matter if you were a lifelong friend or had only met him once; Don loved everyone he met equally, with the love of Jesus. He truly had a servant’s heart.

Don’s warm smile and loving heart will be deeply missed by his wife, Nancy, Bismarck, N.D.; his daughters, Julie (David) Sudduth and Stacey Kershaw, both of Mesa, Ariz.; his sons, Arthur (Sabrina) Renner and Steven (Kristen) Renner, both of Bismarck, N.D.; his sisters, Sister Lawrence Fischer, Annunciation Monastery Bismarck, N.D., Mary (Lonnie) Hass, Fargo, N.D., Rose (Ed) Crotty, Hillsboro, N.D., Liz (Steven) Braus, Bismarck, N.D., Ellen (John Lee) Njos and Theresa (Bruce) Bowman, both of Rhame, N.D.; his brothers, Eugene (Marilyn), Jerome (Theresa) and Lawrence (Loreen), all of Rhame, N.D., Danny (Joanne), Marmarth, N.D., Leonard (Nancy), Amidon, N.D. and Bernie (Annette) and Robert (LaVonne), both of Bismarck, N.D.; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, one niece and one nephew.

In lieu of flowers memorials preferred to the Don Fischer Benefit Fund at Wells Fargo Bank. Go to to sign the online guest book and view flower and tribute photos.

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