George Fischer, former co-owner of Fischer Meats, dies at age 82

April 3, 2012

By Tom Corrigan

George Fischer visits Fischer Meats as a guest of honor to help his former business celebrate its 100th anniversary during an open house celebration Nov. 21, 2010. Contributed

George Fischer, 82, best known for decades of tending the counter at Fischer Meats on Issaquah’s Front Street, died March 26 at the Aegis of Issaquah assisted living facility.

Advertised as one of Issaquah’s oldest businesses, Fischer Meats celebrated its 100th birthday in 2010. George and brother Nick took over the business from their father in the 1950s. They sold the shop to current owners Chris and Jacque Chiechi in 1981. Chris Chiechi said George Fischer stayed with the shop and helped run the meat counter for about another 15 years.

“He was a big man, but he had a very kind heart,” Chiechi said.

The original Fischer Meats was started by his grandfather and sat outside of downtown, said Geoff Fischer, one of George’s two sons. Geoff said the store quickly relocated to its current spot on Front Street. For a time, the family also owned a slaughterhouse in the area.

While many might remember George for his time at the iconic Issaquah business, Geoff said his father loved to hunt and fish with family and friends. One such friend was Win Pickering, who had known George for some 70 years. The two attended Issaquah High School together and remained close their entire lives.

“We just had a good time together,” Pickering said. “He was a great guy to be with.”

George was a skilled fisherman and hunter, according to Pickering, who said his friend took in his share of rainbow trout. George also was a lifetime member of the Issaquah gun club.

Besides hunting and fishing, Geoff said his dad enjoyed his garden and would get into growing contests with his neighbors.

“He’d say he always won,” Geoff said.

He enjoyed his vegetable garden and his Tropicana roses. Wine making was another passion of his. His other hobbies included RC model airplanes, fly tying, painting, and he built his own sailboat.

When working at the store, Geoff and Chiechi said George had a knack for dealing with female customers. Geoff said his father flirted shamelessly with them, while Chiechi said George undoubtedly knew how to talk with the women who visited the shop. Not surprisingly, Chiechi said George knew the names of almost anyone who walked in the store. And while he apparently liked talking with female customers, Chiechi said George also was always ready to trade hunting or fishing stories with the men in the shop.

“He was a great mentor to me,” Chiechi said, adding that when he bought Fischer Meats, he knew how to cut meat, but had no idea how to deal with the business aspects of running the store.

George Fischer was born Oct. 2, 1929, in Issaquah, the son of John and Agnes Fischer.

George was preceded in death by his wife Carolyn. Besides Geoff Fischer, survivors include son Craig (Heidi) Fischer; three grandchildren and one great grandchild; sister Bebs Hansen; brother Nick Fischer; brother-in-law Jack Stavert; companion Joyce Lipple; and many nieces and nephews.

At his father’s request, there will be no services, Geoff Fischer said. Family and friends are invited to sign the family’s online guest book at www.flintofts.com.

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