OBITUARY

William Ralph Fish

September 4, 1930November 20, 2021
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William R. (Bill) Fish of Memphis, TN, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Saturday, November 20, 2021.

He was the son of the late Dominick Fish and Filomena Fish of Boomer WV. He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany and the United States as part of the USAF Security Service. The USAFSS was a secretive branch of the Air Force tasked with monitoring, collecting and interpreting military voice and electronic signals of countries of interest (which at that time were Soviet and their satellite Eastern bloc countries). USAFSS intelligence worked closely with the NSA. Bill graduated from the West Virginia Institute of Technology in 1959 with a degree in Chemistry and later earning a Master of Business Administration in 1974 from Frostburg University. After college, he was employed by the Goodrich Gulf Chemical Company in Institute WV where he was a Chemist, residing in Nitro, WV

In 1964, Bill joined the 3M Company in Middleway WV where he was part of the printing products division and resided in nearby Winchester, VA until 1984 at which time he was transferred to the 3M Corporate Offices in St. Paul MN. Bill held various roles during a 31-year tenure with 3M – retiring in 1995 as the National Director of Service for Printing Products. While in Winchester and after earning his MBA, Bill taught Executive MBA classes at Shenandoah University.

Upon retirement Bill and Sally, his wife and life-long soul mate stayed in the Cottage Grove MN area and traveled routinely to visit family and friends. They moved to Memphis, TN in 2015 to a retirement community to be closer to their daughter Jayne and to escape the cold winters of MN.

Growing up, Bill’s nickname was Totty to his family and friends. Throughout his life, he enjoyed fishing with friends, family or just on his own. Bill never met a stranger and was always more than happy to share one of his many stories to anyone that would listen. He loved his friends dearly and his family fiercely. He loved his work and enjoyed the many relationships and friendships that he was able make along the way during his career. Bill cared about people and it brought him joy to be with family and friends. He enjoyed traveling with Sally and as was the case for their lives together, Bill would (literally) follow her anywhere. Bill also loved having the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren and extended family around the country.

Bill is survived by his wife of 69 years, Sara Mulligan Fish. Bill and Sally were married on December 26, 1951 in Clifton Forge, VA while Bill was home on leave from the Air Force. He is also survived by his two children: Jayne A. Woods (husband Jay) of Collierville, TN and Richard J. Fish (wife Amy) of Black Mountain NC; 3 grandchildren: Dr. Madison Lindgren, Kilby Fish-Benson (husband Kyle), Domenic Fish (wife Allyson), Chris Woods (wife Megan); and 1 great-grandson Olin Kilbourne Benson. Bill is also survived by a sister Faye of Metarie, LA, brothers Louis, Anthony (Buzzy), Timmy and Bobby of Boomer, WV and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother, Joe, his brother Frank, his brother Sam and a sister, Elsie Sodder (late husband Ted Sodder).

Services for family and friends will be held on November 27, 2021 at Collierville Funeral Home, 534 West Poplar Avenue, Collierville, TN 38017 with a viewing at 9am with a service to follow at 10am. Interment will be Magnolia Cemetery following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association a foundation which leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. The address is https://www.alz.org/tn

To send online condolences, visit: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/collierville-tn/william-fish-10454432

  • FAMILY

  • Dominick Fish and Filomena Fish, Parents (deceased)
  • Sara Mulligan Fish, Wife of 69 years
  • Jayne A. Woods (Jay) and Richard J. Fish (Amy), Children
  • Dr. Madison Lindgren, Kilby Fish-Benson (Kyle), Domenic Fish (Allyson), Chris Woods (Megan), Grandchildren
  • Olin Kilbourne Benson, Great Grandson
  • Faye, Sister
  • Louis, Anthony (Buzzy), Timmy and Bobby, Brothers
  • Joe, Frank, and Sam, Brothers (deceased)
  • Elsie Sodder (late husband Ted Sodder), Sister (deceased)
  • He also leaves many nieces and nephews to cherish his memory.

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, November 27, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, November 27, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Saturday, November 27, 2021

Memories

William Ralph Fish

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Louis Fish

November 22, 2021

Totty was more than just my brother, he was my friend and almost like a second dad to me. He will live always in my heart. My children, Pam, Louis and Christi have loving memories of their Uncle Totty and Aunt Sally.
We pray for Sally, Jane Ann, Rick and families. Much love to you all.
Louis Fish and Family.

Betty Phillips

November 22, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Sally & Bill and us had some great vacations together along with Thanksgiving Meals.
We have so many memories of when you live on Christopher and were our neighbors.
Wish we were closer so we could be with you!
We will be there in thoughts.


Love to all,
Betty & Jim

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