April 26, 1940 – June 3, 2022
Dale Fisk, age 82, died peacefully in his sleep at Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minnesota. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Alvina Fisk and his younger sister, Darlene Fisk.
Fisk was born in Williston, North Dakota and grew up in Forsyth and Miles City, Montana. He attended high school and junior college at Concordia in St. Paul, Minnesota where he studied organ with Paul Manz. He graduated from Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois. He spent five summers directing music at Camp Ojibwa, a Jewish boys camp in northern Wisconsin, and earned his Masters Degree in Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Fisk served on the faculty of Concordia University-Portland from 1963-1990, during which time he served as the Director of Choral Activities, Chair of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts, and taught organ, conducting and courses in liturgy, music theory, and history. The Concordia Choir, the annual Christmas Chorale, choir tours and the Christi Crux Chorale were a huge part of his life in Portland. He and Lynette spent nine months touring for Concordia with the Christi Crux Chorale, singing in Lutheran churches in the 12 western states, and a sabbatical year in Honolulu.
Their children, Jonathan and Laura, were born in Portland and grew up watching their father direct the choir and making memories of the Great Northwest. Visits to the Oregon coast for Moe’s clam chowder, Christmas tree-cutting expeditions, piano lessons, rainy July 4ths in the pink house, fires in the wood stove, Saturday soccer games, German cheese fondue and lentil soup - these sustained the family when they moved to Southern California.
In 1990, Dale accepted a call to be Director of Worship and Music at Christ Lutheran Church, La Mesa, California. He discovered English hand bells going unused in the church balcony closet and a new passion was born, adding bell ringing to his life-long love of organ and choral music.
Fisk retired in 2006 and moved with his wife, Lynette, to Pleasant Hill, Missouri.
During his career, he served multiple congregations as organist and choir director in Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, California, Hawaii, and Missouri. In retirement Mr. Fisk served several churches in Missouri playing organ, directing choir or hand bells until a copper-deficiency caused spinal damage making it impossible for him to continue playing.
His love of travel was reinforced touring with his choir and enjoyed in retirement by cruises to Alaska, the Panama Canal, Australia and New Zealand via the South Pacific, and many cross-country road trips with Lynette. He enjoyed planning nearly as much and poured over maps for weeks to ensure the most scenic route, making sure to allow for stops at favorite restaurants or friends who lived along the way.
He is survived by Lynette (nee Baumgarten), his wife of 48 years; son, Jonathan Fisk and his wife, Meridith; daughter, Laura Roose and her husband, Aaron; grandchildren, Chloe, Anastasia, Trinity, Fides & Alleluia Fisk, and Highland & Lilly Roose; and sister, Beverly Wood.
Graveside service took place Monday, June 20 at Clarinda Cemetery, 1200 N 16th St, Clarinda, Iowa. Memorial services are being planned for Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Portland, Oregon. Dates to be determined.