"What a wonderful and genuine man to work for. You will not be forgotten. God bless your family."
Charles Thomas Fisher III
Grosse Pointe Farms resident Charles Thomas Chick Fisher III, former chairman, president and CEO of NBD Bancorp Inc., died Sunday, June 15, 2014. He was 84.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Thursday, June 19, at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.
Mr. Fisher was born Nov. 22, 1929, in Detroit to Charles Thomas Fisher Jr. and Elizabeth Briggs Fisher and was a grandson of Charles T. Fisher Sr. co-founder of Fisher Body, which later became part of General Motors Corp., and Walter O. Briggs, who founded the Briggs Manufacturing Company, a maker of automobile bodies, and who owned the Detroit Tigers baseball team.
Mr. Fisher is survived by his wife, Margaret Elizabeth Beth Keegin Fisher, whom he married June 18, 1952; children, Margaret Elizabeth Lisa Fisher Jones (Macy); Curtis William Fisher, Lawrence P. Larry Fisher II (Maria Elena) and Mary Florence Mimi Fisher Hickey (John).
He was predeceased by his son, Charles T. Fisher IV.
Mr. Fisher also is survived by his grandchildren, Kristin Fisher Allen, Elizabeth Briggs Jones Coleman, Charles T. Fisher V, Curtis William Fisher Jr., Marta Cristina Fisher, John Keegin Fisher, Keegin Marie Fisher, Emily Ryan Hickey, Kathryn Keegin Hickey and Alison Briggs Hickey; four great-grandchildren; siblings, Mary Elizabeth Fisher, R.S.C.J., Fred J. Fisher II (Juelle), Jane F. McDonnell (Richard C. Tucker), Walter B. Fisher (Sandy), Sarah F. Champion (Robert) and John A. Fisher (Didi).
Mr. Fisher graduated in 1947 from Portsmouth Priory School in Rhode Island and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University in 1951 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University in 1953. He began work as an accountant with Touche, Ross, Bailey & Smart, and became a certified public accountant in Michigan in 1957. In 1990 he received an honorary doctorate of humane Letters from Georgetown University.
Mr. Fisher joined NBD as an assistant vice president in 1958, was elected vice president in 1961, senior vice president in 1966, executive vice president in March 1969, director in June 1969 and president in 1972. In 1982, he was elected chairman, president and CEO. He retired in 1993.
Mr. Fisher was active in numerous professional and community organizations throughout his professional career and lifetime. He was a member of: the board of governors of ADELA Investment Company; Association of Reserve City Bankers for which he served as president; advisory committee of Bon Secours Hospital; executive committees of the Boys Scouts of America Detroit Area Council and Greater Detroit Area Hospital Council; Detroit Clearinghouse Association; finance committee of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan; and International Monetary Conference. He also was a member of the American Institute of Banking Detroit Chapter; American Institute of Certified Public Accounts; Army Ordnance Association; Detroit Board of Education Educational Task Force Committee; Detroit Historical Society; Detroit Institute of Arts Founders Society; Detroit Zoological Society; Georgetown Club of Michigan; various committees and board of Georgetown University; Governors Commission on Jobs and Economic Development; Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce; International Monetary Fund World Banks; Mayors Committee for Economic Growth; Michigan Aeronautics and Space Association; Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants; Michigan Economic Expansion Council; Michigan State Recreational Building Authority; National Board of Smithsonian Associates; and the Newcomen Society.
He was a trustee of American Enterprise Institute; Detroit Medical Center; 4-H Foundation of Michigan; Marygrove College; Merrill-Palmer Institute; Metropolitan Detroit Polio Foundation; Michigan Opera Theatre; Michigan Association for Traffic Safety; Tax Foundation, Inc.; and Mt. Elliott Cemetery.
Additionally, he was a director of American Airlines and a member of its nominating and compensation committees; American Broadcasting Company; Aluminum Extrusions, Inc.; American Red Cross Detroit Chapter; Boys Day Committee of Detroit; Detroit Football Company; Franklin Settlement; Highway Users Federation; National Intergroup; Jannock Ltd.; Prime Securities Corp.; Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan; Detroit Economic Growth Corporation; Detroit Edison; where he was also a member of the finance, nominating and organization and compensation committees; Detroit Renaissance Inc., Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Economic Alliance for Michigan; Economic Club of Detroit; Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit branch; General Motors Corp., where he was a member of the finance, bonus and salary and nominating committees; Economic Alliance for Michigan; Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, including its nominating committee; Harvard Business School Club of Detroit; Hundred Club of Detroit, where he also served as treasurer; International Bank of Detroit; NBD Mortgage Company; New Detroit Inc.; United Foundation, where he was a member of the executive and finance committees and chairman of the capital fund division committee; and various Hiram Walker Resources Ltd. entities.
He also served as chairman of the Economic Club of Detroit; Mackinac Bridge Authority; Federal Advisory Council, Greater Detroit Interfaith Round Table of National Conference of Christians and Jews; and United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
Socially, he was a member of the Alfalfa Club in Washington, D.C., Bloomfield Hills Country Club, Country Club of Detroit, Detroit Athletic Club, Grosse Pointe Club, The Links Club in New York, New York Yacht Club, The Little Traverse Yacht Club, Delray Beach Yacht Club, Gulf Stream Golf Club and Gulf Stream Bath and Tennis Club, Wequetonsing Club, Little Harbor Club, Detroit Club, The Old Club, Question Club, St. Andrews Club and the Yondotega Club.
He received numerous honors and awards for his professional, community and philanthropic involvement including Outstanding Young Man of the Year in Detroit in 1961, the 1966 recipient of the Man and Boy Award from the Boys Clubs of Metropolitan Detroit, the John Carroll Award from Georgetown University Alumni Association in 1978 and the Business Statesman Award from Harvard Business School Club of Detroit in 1988. From 1975 to 1977 he was the civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for Michigan.
Donations may be made to Less Cancer, 1247 Washington, Rye, NH 03870 or at lesscancer.org or to The Capuchins, c/o St. Bonaventure Monastery, 1740 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207.
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"What a wonderful and genuine man to work for. You will not be forgotten. God bless your family."
"My deepest sympathy to the Fisher family. I had the great pleasure to meet Mr. Fisher some 36 years ago when I was US Consul in Dubai. He and his associates at NBD were all first-class businessmen and it was a professional pleasure to provide, in my official capacity, support and guidance to their business in Dubai. Mr Fisher was one of the kindest, most considerate, knowledgable and effective business executives I have known. More importantly he was a very gentle and good human being...a real gentleman. I am grateful he was a part of my life. "
"Dear Fisher family, I am remorseful about your loss and like to extend my deepest sympathy for your loved one Charles Fisher. From personal experience I know that the death of a love one causes pain and grief and sometimes it seems unbearable. The Scriptures contain comfort that can assist us during times of distress. The ransom of Jesus and the hope of seeing my loved one again in the resurrection brought me comfort. I would like to share these three scriptures with you to give you comfort John 5:28, 29, Acts 24:15 and Romans 15:4. May the God of comfort give you peace and rest. Mrs. Higgins"
"I was privileged to serve NBD for over 40 years. During the majority of that time I was favored by having a perfect roll model as a professional and personal individual; that individual was Chick. I particularly value the memory of travelling with Chick and Beth in the Middle East and their kindness and consideration given to a young banker. May he be rewarded in the hereafter as he rewarded those who knew him."
"It was wonderful serving with a great man and a great leader. I'm sure he will be greatly missed."
"Please accept our sincere sympathy at your loss. The Gallaghers Washington, DC"
"My deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. Fisher. I worked for him at NBD for many years,he was the finest boss I ever had the privilege of working for.He was concerned for the company and always concerned for the employees. A true gentleman."
"I served with Chic on the Mackinac Bridge Authority in the 1980's and early '90's. He was a wonderful leader and an excellent mentor for me on the MBA. I will always remember his kindness and thoughtful manner."
"Our most sincere condolences to Uncle Chick's family. He was a man of great integrity."
"While I regret I am unable to attend Chick's service, I will always remember Chick as a great leader and one who also led by example. I will still remember his coaching--he said when trying to decide what is the right thing to do--think how your decision would read if you read it on the front page of the newspaper and how you would feel about--and proceed accordingly. Chick led us with integrity, class and compassion. I was privileged to work for the man and the organization. "
"I wish to express my condolences to the family of Mr. Charles T. Fisher III. I had the pleasure of working at NBD before and during Mr. Fisher's tenure. I remember him as a very kind man who often said "good morning" as I passed him in the lower banking hallway at 611 Woodward. My favorite memory is of his visits to the International Division, where I worked, during the year-end holiday season. He would say a few words and sometimes we were able to shake his hand. Not many Presidents of a large company would take the time to do that with the rank and file. He was a great leader and is fondly remembered by those of us in the NBD family. "
"Chick would always waive and say "hi" when walking past the Collateral Dept. on the 2nd floor. I retired from NBD after 35 years. "
"Chick Fisher, like his father before him, left an indelible mark on the Michigan and Detroit banking communities. I served under Chick in the National Division of NBD and found him to be a good, decent and honorable man. He was a unique blend of wit, charm, warmth and grace. . .admired and respected by all who knew him. Perhaps the greatest single tragedy in his life was the loss of his oldest son, C. T. Fisher IV, as a result of the 1988 PAM AM Flight 103 bombing and crash. Young CT was a seasoned banker and was slated to come back to NBD after his father's retirement. While this is conjecture, many of us old NBDer's believe that NBD would still be in business, had young Fisher been able to fulfill his destiny. The fond memories of Charles T. Fisher III will serve to strengthen and sustain his family throughout the months and years ahead. TOM DIX"
"Shortly after I became president of the altar society at St. Paul on the Lake Church Mr. Fisher sent me a hand written note with his advice and suggestions. It was short and to the point and helped guide our efforts. I still have the note in my archives. We have lost another pillar of our church and community. he will be missed. "
"When Chick Fisher was in charge of NBD Bank it was a wonderful place to work. He was always approachable, friendly and cared about his employees. My deepest sympathies to his family. His former NBD family appreciates deeply the impact he made."
"I am proud to have worked for Mr. Fisher at NBD Bank. I wish he was the president of the united states and everybody in the world would of seen how great he was. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends. "
"When Mr. Fisher spoke at the NBD Annual Officers Meeting and said that the employees were the Banks greatest asset, he really meant it and we knew that he meant it, because we were treated with loyalty and respect. He was a wonderful gentleman and a great representative of Detroit. I am proud to count myself among those who worked under his watch. We will always need more leaders like Mr. Fisher. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends. "
"I worked at NBD bank for over 15 years and Mr Fisher was a joy to work for. He was kind, honest and truly cared about his employees. God speed Mr. Fisher. Peace and prayers to his family at this most difficult time."
"Chick, we missed you at lunch last week and will miss you even more in the future. Thank you for your friendship and good counsel over the years. Detroit and countless organizations and corporations were fortunate to have had your great leadership over the years. Above all, I know how much you will miss and be missed by your family. Rest in peace friend.."
"I am so sorry for the family of Mr. Fisher durring this time and for their loss. He was always one of my favorites at Little Harbor Club and Delray Beach Yacht Club."
"Mr. Fisher was one of the best CEOs ever in the U.S. Condolences to the family & friends. I will always remember him fondly."
"I worked at NBD, etc., for a little over 30 years. The company was the absolute best when Mr. Fisher was at the helm - we were like a huge family. I remember being called upon to answer his phones. He was so very, very nice, a definite people person, who truly cared about his employees. The last of a dying breed. Rest in Peace, Chick."
"I worked at NBD for 20 years and everyone I know there had the highest regards for Mr. Fisher. He was a wonderful, kind person and we felt that we were treated with respect. It was a pleasure to have worked for a place that was run by such a dignified individual."
"Uncle Chick, it was great to share stories these last few months of serving abroad and visiting the WWI and II memorials in France and Luxembourg during their respective anniversaries. You and your generation of soldiers and men is still the best this world has seen. My love to the rest of the family. John Fisher Dingeman, Major, USAFR"
"My Deepest Sympathy to the Family. Mr. Fisher was a very kind and good man, who made NBD such a wonderful place to work! God Bless & Comfort you all!"
"Fond memories of a great business leader, a model and inspiration to those of us who were privileged to work for him."
"Sending prayers to the family of Mr Fisher. He was, without a doubt, THE Best President NBD ever had. It was a pleasure to work for him."