1939 – 2014

EAST WINTHROP — Col. Marie D. (Harris) Fisher, retired USAF, RNC, BS, MS, LNHA, FNGNA, 74, of East Winthrop, passed away Sunday, May 11, at her home, with her husband and family by her side.

Marie was born in Monmouth on Oct. 12, 1939. She married Richard W. Merrill on Sept. 25, 1982; they had been married for 31 years at the time of her death. Marie graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1960, with a diploma in nursing; in 1960, she became a registered nurse. She graduated from Saint Joseph’s College in 1975, with a Bachelor of Science degree in professional arts, with a concentration in health care administration. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1992, with a Master of Science degree in adult education, with a concentration in gerontology.

Marie also obtained a license as nursing home administrator in 1977, licensure as multilevel long-term care administrator: nursing facility, residential care facility level II in 2000, an American Nurses Association certification in gerontological nursing starting in 1982 and a surveyor certification examination for the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations in 2002 and 2007.

Throughout her extensive career, Marie worked at the Heritage Home in Winthrop, Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Mercy Hospital in Portland, the Maine Health Care Association in Augusta, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations and the Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home in Greenville. She retired from Maine Veterans’ Homes in Augusta as director of quality assurance and corporate compliance.

Marie also provided consulting and education services to nursing and assisted-living facilities. Her professional affiliations included establishing the Long Term Care Nursing Council of Maine Health Care Association, National Gerontological Nursing Association, where she served as president, National Association of Directors of Nursing/Long Term Care, Maine State Board of Nursing and the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Many nursing publications and an extensive number of professional presentations were added to her list of accomplishments over the course of her career.

Marie retired from the Maine Air National Guard in June 1994, with the rank of colonel. Throughout her military career, she worked as a charge nurse (surgical), flight nurse, general duty nurse, chief of nursing service and Air National Guard assistant for nursing. She had been activated for Desert Storm in 1991.

Marie is survived by her husband, Richard Merrill, of East Winthrop; her son, Craig Fisher and his wife, Lisa, of North Monmouth; her son, Brian Fisher-Paulson and his husband, Kevin, and her grandsons, Zane and Aidan of San Francisco, Calif.; her brother, Roger Harris and his wife, Patricia, of North Monmouth; her sister, Roxanne Ridlon and her husband, Hubert, of Deland, Fla.; her sister, Jeanne Hatch, of Winthrop; and many nieces and nephews.

Marie was predeceased by her parents, Germaine and Ronald Harris; and her sister, Ellen Gosselin.

Her family would like to thank Marie’s niece, Lynne Grivois of Winthrop, for her love, time and dedication in caring so unselfishly for Marie during her greatest time of need. There are no words to express the gratitude we feel for the unquestionable love and support she provided during this difficult time.

Marie was highly respected in her field and very much loved by her family and friends. She will be greatly missed.

Memories, condolences and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page at www.khrfuneralhomes.com.

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