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In Honor Of John Fischer

Rep. Sam Farr

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Madam Speaker, I rise today to remember the life of John Fischer, who passed away recently at the age of 81. I am honored to have this opportunity to recognize his long public service in the California Central Coast community that I represent.

John was born and raised on the east coast, graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in physics. He was a long time member of Mensa, which accepts only persons who test in the top two percent of our nation in intelligence. John was in the top .01 percent. He moved to Los Angeles and worked for the Los Angeles Fire Department for nearly a decade. During that time he assisted the Los Angeles Police Department on the task force that took part in solving the Hillside Strangler case. He later worked for the LAPD, and then for the Los Angeles City Library.

In 1989, John moved to Pacific Grove and immediately became a frequent speaker at City Council and other public meetings, advocating for environmental issues. John had a gift for explaining difficult concepts in simple terms that made complex topics understandable. His discourse was not only informative, but always polite, even in heated disagreements.

I never saw him without his snowy owl pendant, and even his license plate, ``Snowy,'' proclaimed his love of and care for the natural world. In his twenty-one years in our community, he contributed a lot of time and effort to many organizations. He was a co-founder of EcoCorps with former Pacific Grove Mayor Sandy Koffman and her husband; he served as President and Trustee of Friends of the Sea Otter; he volunteered for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in all its programs that monitor water quality, and also served for years on its Conservation Working Group. He volunteered for Pacific Grove's Monarch Habitat Restoration Committee, Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Advisory Committee, Economic Development Group, Housing Committee, Community Policing Advisory Committee, Traffic Commission, Crespi Pond Committee, and represented Pacific Grove on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Transportation Agency of Monterey County.

For his over 1,800 hours as a volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium he was named a ``Volunteer Emeritus.'' In 2005, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation named him an Outstanding Volunteer. He received numerous accolades during his life for his many contributions.

Madam Speaker, I know that I speak for the whole House in mourning the passing of this dedicated and loving man. His life was a gift to his community, a shining example to be emulated by those who he inspired to continue his work.