March 23, 2001

Radiology remembers Thelma Fisher

Featured Image

Thelma Fisher

For more than 20 years, Thelma Fisher ran the second shift in Radiology Services with care and attention as if it were her own. Tuesday, March 13, co-workers and friends gathered in a Light Hall auditorium to remember Fisher in an emotional memorial service. She and her daughter, Tressa Fisher, were shot to death March 9 outside the Juvenile Justice Center in Nashville leaving a custody hearing for Fisher’s 3-year-old granddaughter.

“Thelma reflected the heart and soul of the department,” Dr. Martin Sandler, professor and chair of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, said after the ceremony. “She was kind and caring. She took care of the technologists and residents and kept the attendings in their place. She did a lot for Vanderbilt.”

Rhonda Tully, administrative director for Radiology Services, counted Fisher among the most loyal and dedicated employees who took her job seriously and respected everyone she worked with. “She ran a tight ship. There was never a problem on second shift,” Tully said. “You could count on one hand the days she called in sick.”

Fisher made the same impression outside of work. “She lived her life and everybody knew of her faith,” said Rev. Larry Richardson, Fisher’s pastor at Christ Lutheran Church. “She did a lot of work for the church – on committees, in leadership and volunteer positions. She would do anything, and she did a lot of stuff nobody knew about. When someone knew what church she attended, she made the church look good,” Richardson said.

Fisher started at Vanderbilt March 7, 1977. She retired June 5, 2000, but shortly afterward came back to work on an as-needed basis.

To honor her, Sandler said the department established the “Thelma Fisher Award,” to be given annually to the most outstanding employee of the Radiology Services.

Fisher, the eldest of nine children, is survived by one son, Terrance; three sisters, Jannetta, Lynda and Libby; and four brothers, Eugene, Andrew, Grover, James and W.C. She had two granddaughters and one grandson.