HomeObituariesKenneth Walter Fisher

Kenneth Walter Fisher

Kenneth Walter Fisher Kenneth Walter Fisher passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and children on January 1st 2016. He was born on December 30th, 1931 in Heston, Middlesex England to Walter and Matilda Fisher and grew up in London. When World War II was imminent, the family cottage was requisitioned to house Polish fighter pilots and the family was relocated to a house where they enjoyed electricity and piped water for the first time. He excelled in his studies despite the challenges of growing up in the midst of wartime England. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at Queen Mary College of London and his Masters from University College London. Subsquently, under the direction of Professor William H. Hayes at Royal Post Graduate Medical School he received his Ph.D. on the mechanism of gene transfer in bacterium Escherichia coli. He recieved an award from Medical Research Council to spend a year at the Institute Pasteur in Paris as a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Francois Jacob. Back in London he had the privilege of participating in laboratory meetings between his and Francis Crick’s lab, and also being featured on a BBC broadcast hosted by Dr. Crick focusing on important current findings in the emerging field of genetics. He was subsequently awarded the Rockefeller Fellowship that gave him the opportunity to emigrate to the United States where he worked under Dr. Arthur Pardee at Princeton University. While in Dr. Pardee’s lab, in 1963 he met his future wife; Mettie Barton Whipple, the first female student to matriculate in the graduate science studies at Princeton University. After doing another year of research at Hammersmith Hospital in London and a 4 year appointment as Director of the Graduate Program in the Sciences at Kansas State University, they settled in Princeton New Jersey to raise their family. Dr. Fisher went on to become chairman of the department of Biology at Rutgers University, Douglas Campus. During his teaching tenure he focused on both undergraduate and graduate studies in genetics and mutational biology. After retiring, his life revolved around bee keeping, gardening, and spending time with his devoted family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years Mettie Barton Fisher; two sons, Sean Hayes Fisher (Ellen) of Barrington Rhode Island, and Galen Hunt Fisher(Joi) of Richmond Virginia; three step-children, Mettie Micheaux Whipple (Nipper Harding) of Yarmouth, ME, Sherman Taylor Whipple of Hull MA, Louise Whipple Gillock (J.T.) of Franklin KY ; eleven grandchildren; one great grandson, and his sister Myra Head (David) of Reading, England. Services .will be at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton, New Jersey on Saturday, January 9th 2016 at 10:30 am. Interment will be in Nashville TN at a later date.

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