2007 Austen Warburton Award
Robert G. Fisher
Bob Fisher is descended from a family of very early Californians. Two of his great grandfathers, William Fisher and Julian Hanks, came from Baja, California, where they had met, in 1835. They built a merchant ship and sailed into Monterey bay to begin lives in Santa Clara Valley. The two operated a gristmill for a time. Hanks continued to operate the ship and mill while Fisher bought land in the south valley. Hanks was on the first Junta of San Jose and was sent to Monterey as a delegate to help write the constitution of California.
William’s son, Fiacro, bought property on the Laguna Seco land grant and built a home which is now an historical landmark, known locally as the Coyote Ranch.
Fiacro’s son, George met and married Helen Heple, whose father, Emil, operated the General Store in Coyote. He was also postmaster of the post office that now resides in History Park, San José. The young couple settled on an apricot orchard in Cupertino and raised their three children Eldon, Bob and Marion, there. All attended Cupertino elementary School and Fremont High School in Sunnyvale.
Bob graduated from San Jose State College in 1940 with a degree in Accounting. While waiting for his “greetings” from Uncle Sam, he worked for Hales Department Store on South First Street. His stint in the Army Air Force lasted some 5 years with 2 ½ of them spent in the China, Burma and India theater.
Following his discharge, Bob went to work for Anderson Barngrover Division of Food Machinery Corporation. He later moved to Central Engineering Laboratories of FMC where he retired as Controller in 1983 after 37 years with the firm.
Bob married Beverly Hansen in 1951 and they have 3 children, Elizabeth, Jeanne and Rob and 3 grandchildren, Chris, Karen and Victoria. All live in the San Jose area.
Bob spent a few years as advisor to the Junior Achievement program and was also involved with the FMC United Fund drives. For a time, he could be found batting balls for neighborhood Little League.
Since retirement, he is enjoying traveling, bridge, bowling and working on his family’s genealogy, and of course, working with the California Pioneers. He has served as President, Treasurer, the New Almaden Cemetery group, registrar at meetings, and most recently, with Beverly, the Paulson House Committee.