Marilyn was born in Duluth, MN on Feb. 28, 1945. She attended St. Michael’s Grade School & Stanbrook Hall High School. In 1962 she spent a summer in Austria as an American Field Service exchange student, an experience that kindled an interest in languages. She studied French and German at Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, IL, where she earned a BA in French in 1967. The following summer she met Carl Fischer at the University of Chicago where they trained for a year of service with the Catholic Lay Extension Society. They courted from opposite corners of the state--Marilyn worked in an inner-city parish in Kansas City, MO, and Carl spent his year in campus ministry at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, MO. They were married in Duluth on June 29, 1968 (followed by a wonderful reception in Uncle Bud & Aunt Lorraine’s front yard). They have 2 sons:
Carl Christopher (“Chris”), born at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC on Jan. 8, 1970, and
Eric August, born in Gainesville, FL on February 23, 1981.
Carl was born May 12, 1942 in Hamm, Germany. He was among the first emigrants to the US after World War II when he arrived in New York in 1949 with his parents and older sister, Greta. He grew up in Albany, New York, attended St. John’s Academy High School in the neighboring town of Rensselaer and graduated in 1966 with a BA in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. He worked more enthusiastically during the summers of his college years as a social director at a resort in the Catskills. He did post-graduate work in sociology at Sienna College in NY before becoming an Extension volunteer in 1967. After marrying in June of 1968, Carl & Marilyn set out on a 5-week odyssey, traveling across the western US and Canada in a borrowed VW bug (Tom Meister’s) before Carl joined the Army (knowing that he would soon be drafted). He began serving his 2-year commitment as a member of the Old Guard at Fort Myer, VA (participating in Nixon’s inauguration and Eisenhower’s funeral), then, as the result of a recreational injury which terminated his honor guard duties, he was transferred to the chaplains corps where he completed his tour of duty as a chaplain’s assistant at the Fort Myer Post Chapel. Shortly before joining Carl in Arlington, Marilyn fortuitously met Fr. Raymond Lucker, a priest from St. Paul who had just been appointed to the position of National Director of Catholic Education at the United States Catholic Conference, in Washington, DC and he hired her as his private secretary. She worked in that capacity until Chris was born. When Carl completed his tour of duty with the Army in August 1973, they moved back to Duluth where Carl taught at Cathedral High School for 3 years.
In 1973, they followed Carl’s parents to the Sunshine State (where they had retired in 1969), settling in Gainesville where Carl teaches psychology and American history at Buchholz High School. Marilyn worked part-time as a secretary/editor for a research professor in the UF Department of Fruit Crops (1974-75) before entering a physical therapy program at the University of Florida, earning a BS degree in 1977. That same year Carl had the opportunity to spend the summer in India on a Fulbright Scholarship and in 1978, he earned his M. Ed. from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, after spending several summers enjoying Ann & Dick’s hospitality while attending classes at UMD on the GI bill.
Marilyn worked as a pediatric physical therapist in 3 local school systems before retiring in 2002. She loves having more time for things such as reading, genealogy, translating French and German documents for other family historians, bird watching, needlework, and gardening. Carl’s favorite leisure activities are working out at the gym, reading and motorcycling (in 1987 he soloed from Florida to Alaska where he enjoyed the hospitality of the Johnsons & the McKennas). They both enjoy traveling and have traveled extensively in the US, Canada and Europe during summer vacations, but are looking forward to Carl’s retirement when they will have more travel options. They definitely plan to see more of the world from a cruise ship with Eric! Both enjoy the proximity of Chris and family and are happy that Eric enjoys spending time at home when he is not at sea.