Jane Elizabeth Fisher

BRUNSWICK – Jane Elizabeth Fisher, 70, of Brunswick, died March 3, 2020 from complications due to colon cancer. She was a life-long Democrat, a lover of nature, music, and the arts, and a devoted caretaker over the decades of many privileged four-legged creatures. Most recently Jane raised and oversaw training of Sashi (lhasa apso) as a hospice therapy dog, and Floss (border collie) as a sheepdog. Jane also zealously guarded and maintained her connections with a legion of close friends encountered during all phases of her life, from early childhood onward, who were drawn to her for the warmth, support, and kinship that she generously provided. But above all Jane Fisher was a life long crusader for social equality and reproductive rights, and a champion of compassionate care for the dying and their families. Born in 1949, Jane was raised the oldest of three children in Woodbury, N.J. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Hartford in Connecticut in 1971. Early in her career, Jane was the development director for Granite State Public Radio, now New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR), the first commercial-free national public radio (NPR) station of New Hampshire. Yet Jane’s chief passions were always social justice and reproductive rights. Through protest and activism Jane worked toward these objectives prior to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, and continued her crusade for a woman’s right to choose for her entire life. From 1984-1994, Jane was the communications director and social marketing strategist at Maine Family Planning where she fought to increase access to family planning programs for low-income women and teens. Most recently, Jane served as consultant and advisor to Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights. GRR! is an activist organization of women and men who came of age before birth control and abortion were legal, and are passionate to preserve reproductive rights, access to sexuality education, and birth control for future generations. Jane employed her public policy, organizing, and communications skills to help GRR! become a prominent voice in Maine’s social justice community. Jane’s calling to provide loving support to the dying and their families was honed in part from her early experience with the death of her brother John, and re-enforced after returning to New Jersey to care for her terminally ill mother who died in 2002. Her vocation in hospice care began in 2006 after earning a Master’s degree in Social Work in 2004 from Smith College, Northampton, Mass. Jane’s initial service started at Hospice of the Chesapeake (Annapolis, Md.) and continued at Seasons Hospice in Baltimore, Md. where she provided care for underserved inner-city residents. Jane continued her work at Amedisys Hospice in rural Maine from 2011-2013 as a member of a team providing care to low-income patients and families. In this capacity, Jane helped numerous people, many of them neglected, face their final days with grace and dignity. Jane will be remembered as a fighter, as a champion for social consciousness, and as an advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized. Jane was preceded in death by her parents John Edward Fisher and Ann O’Conner Fisher and her brother John. Jane is survived by her loving brother Chris Fisher (Terri G. Edwards) of Gainesville, Fla.; nieces Elinor A. Fisher (Durango, Colo.), and Jane E. Fisher (Ann Arbor, Mich.), a nephew John H. Fisher (Los Angeles, Calif.); Sashi the therapy dog (Dresden, Maine), and Floss the border collie (Washington, Maine). Many beloved cousins and loyal friends also survive her. A memorial service for Jane followed by a reception will be held on Friday, March 6, at 11 a.m. at the Day’s Ferry Congregational Church, Day’s Ferry, Maine. Donations may be made in Jane’s honor to Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!; www.grandmothersforreproductiverights.org), Hospice of Southern Maine (www.hospiceofsouthernmaine.org), CHANS Home Health and Hospice (www.chanshomehealth.com), and Maine Family Planning (www.mainefamilyplanning.org).

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