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Dr. Amy Fisher Pace, 85

Dr. Amy Fisher Pace, 85

Dr. Amy Fisher Pace, 85, died on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Pardee Hospital, UNC Health Care. She was a native of Henderson County and the daughter of the late Samuel Leander Fisher and Ada B. McCraw Fisher. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Daniel E. Pace.

Dr. Pace was first and foremost a student herself. She loved learning and education was her passion. She was a 1952 graduate of Hendersonville High School where she was the valedictorian and editor of The Red and White. She was the first person on either side of her family to attend college, ultimately earning a doctorate in a generation that few women attained such degrees.

She attended Mars Hill College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education, a Master of Arts Degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Doctorate Degree in Education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She also took courses at a number of universities including: Columbia University, the University of California at Davis, California State University, at Chico, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Western Carolina University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

She received a number of fellowships, including a Fulbright Scholarship to study and travel in China. She was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the North Carolina English Teachers’ Association, the National Education Association, the State and Local Education Associations, the International Reading Association, Phi Beta Kappa, the English Honor Society, and the Harcourt Foundation Scholarship. She was inducted into the first class as a member of the local Education Hall of Fame in Henderson County.

She taught high school English in Henderson County, as well as Virginia and California. She also taught college courses in North Carolina as well as Georgia.

She and her husband, Dan, returned to Henderson County in 1979 to care for their families. Superintendent Glenn C. Marlow created a position for Amy as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. She was an advocate for the arts, championing the comprehensive education that emphasized academics and the arts. “The arts were a particular commitment of mine,” she admitted warmly. She has written for several state and national publications on curriculum and English.

She retired in 1997, after 42 years in public education, with joy as well as mixed feelings. The Henderson County Superintendent at that time, Dr. Dan Lunsford, said, “Dr. Pace is known across North Carolina as a true instructional advocate and curriculum expert…. She has a great sensitivity to the needs of children, first and foremost, and of the importance of education for a successful life.”

Following retirement, she volunteered for many local organizations throughout the community. She was an active member of St. James Episcopal Church, where she served as a past Senior Warden duly elected by the church’s vestry as well as a lay reader. She was a member of the initial Walk of Fame Committee and the Hunger Coalition. After she moved to Carolina village, she remained active serving on the Carolina Village Board for more than one term. She held many committee memberships and led the Education Committee at Carolina Village for nine years. She urged Carolina Village residents to, “Stay alive as long as you live,” which remains the slogan of the wellness program there.

She was a strong and quiet leader. She was keenly aware of the needs of both teachers and students. She advocated for all the students but particularly for those who needed extra attention and nurturing. She lived an example of service and grace in her community. Her life can only inspire others to serve.

She is survived by Benny and Ai Yen Hendrix of Rutherfordton, whom she considered her children, seven living first cousins: Ann Fisher Raines, Bessie L. Fisher, Roger Fisher, Lin Fisher, Nancy Fisher, Wanda Fisher Wehunt, and Ramona Fisher Gilbert as well as numerous friends and colleagues.

Her funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at St. James Episcopal Church officiated by The Reverend Dr. Carol Jablonski and the Reverend Christiana Olsen. Burial will follow at Shepherd Memorial Park. The family will receive friends immediately following the interment in the Stillwell Hall of the church.

In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations in Amy’s memory be directed to the Community Foundation of Henderson County, Post Office Box 1108, Hendersonville, N.C., 28793, and designated for the Dan and Amy Fisher Pace Scholarship Fund.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting Thos.Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.