Jean Fischer, an animal rights activist and well-known member of the Montauk community, died on May 18 at Southampton Hospital. She was 86 and had been hospitalized for two weeks following a stroke.
Described by her family as small of stature, big of heart, and in possession of an iron will, Mrs. Fischer and her husband, Herb Fisher, a patent designer, moved to Montauk, where they lived in a house overlooking Lake Montauk and the Montauk County Park, shortly after their marriage in 1982.
An early board member of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Mrs. Fischer volunteered at ARF’s Thrift Shop for more than 20 years. She and her husband were original members of the organization’s Operation Cat program, teaching volunteers how to trap and care for generations of feral cats, and caring for a small colony near their house.
At various times, Mrs. Fischer also served on the board of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk and was a supporter of the Montauk Library. When they weren’t in Montauk, the couple traveled the world — enjoying wildlife and exploring exotic locales. Her husband died in March of 2008.
Mrs. Fischer was born on July 28, 1927, to E. Wallace Erisman and the former Ruth Heim in Lancaster, Pa. She received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. Beginning in the 1960s, she worked at what was Bell Labs (now AT&T) in Holmdel, N.J., as its first female supervisor in the engineering information department and became a role model for several young women working there. She retired at 55.
Mrs. Fischer is survived by a step-daughter, Kim Black of Middletown, N.J., and by two granddaughters and two great-grandchildren. Her family has suggested memorial contributions to the Animal Rescue Fund, P.O. Box 901, Wainscott 11975.