Marjorie Switow Fisher of Blessed Memory 1923-2016

June 14, 2016 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit is deeply saddened to share the loss of Marjorie Switow Fisher, who passed away at her home in Palm Beach on Sunday, June 12. She was 92 years old.

Marjorie was married to Max M. Fisher for 52 years and, like her husband, was a prominent philanthropist and leader who leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of generosity and commitment to social, cultural and humanitarian causes.

Following Max’s death in 2005 and the creation of the permanent endowment to fund the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Marjorie assumed the role of Founding Chair. During her six-year tenure as Chair, the Foundation committed more than $70 million in grants with nearly 50 partners on three continents and became recognized within the philanthropic sector as a leader in giving and governance among family foundations. The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation continues to be a major supporter of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, and is a cornerstone organization within the Detroit Jewish community.

Among the many causes Marjorie championed, she funded blight removal in Detroit, providing both physical facilities and an array of social services to one of the more beleaguered neighborhoods in the city. Continuing a commitment started by Max toward the end of his life, Marjorie has in recent years given leadership gifts both to the operating fund and the endowment of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She has also been a strong advocate and supporter of children, and has impacted the lives tens of thousands of young people in Palm Beach County, Florida and metropolitan Detroit, as well as around the world.

All four generations of the women in Marjorie’s family were awarded the 2013 ‘Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award’ by the Women’s Funding Network. Also in 2013, the family received the Outstanding Foundation of the Year Award for the Greater Detroit Region. In 2014, Marjorie was honored with the inaugural Founder’s Award by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

“You are here for a reason – to help other people’” she frequently said. “Everything in life is based on love and what you can do to help others. The rest is just cream—sometimes sour cream—but it’s all cream.”

She is survived by her children; Mary Fisher, Phillip Fisher and his spouse Lauren Fisher, Julie Fisher Cummings and her spouse Peter Cummings, Marjorie Fisher Furman and her spouse Roy Furman, Jane Sherman and her spouse Larry Sherman, as well as 37 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mrs. Fisher will be laid to rest in private ceremonies. A public celebration of her life will be held at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in Orchestra Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts be made to the Brightmoor Alliance, Detroit Symphony Orchestra or the Palm Beach County Food Bank.

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