Dodd Fischer

Dodd Fischer (1943-2017)

Dodd Fischer Dodd Fischer, 74, died on Friday, November 17th, 2017 at home with his family in Portland, Oregon after a nine-month struggle with pancreatic cancer. He will be remembered for his interest in people with unique life stories, and a love of history, travel, and hard work. He never retired and was not planning to.

Dodd was born on November 2, 1943 in Eugene, Oregon to Ruth Dodd Fischer, the daughter of a civic leader and Columbia River developer in Hermiston, Oregon, and Dale Fischer, the son of a mill owner in Marcola, Oregon. He was a fifth generation Oregonian. Dodd identified very much with his family’s history as Western pioneers and early settlers of Oregon who eventually helped shape the state’s timber and agricultural sectors.

Dodd grew up with his sister Alex near the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field and Mac Court where he became a fan of track, basketball, and eventually football. He attended Edison Grade School and Roosevelt Junior High. He spent his boyhood summers on the McKenzie River at Prince Helfrich’s summer camp. The Webb School in Claremont, California, where he attended high school, shaped his trajectory in life. He was a loyal Webb supporter in his later years, attending many school and alumni events and serving on the Board of Trustees. He graduated from Yale University in 1965, where he was a member of Beta Theta Phi, competed on the wrestling and golf teams, and developed some of his most enduring friendships. He earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Between attending Yale and Stanford, Dodd served in the US Army. His infantry airborne ranger training was at Fort Benning, Georgia, and then he was First Lieutenant at Camp Casey in Tongduchon, Korea.

Dodd met Nancy while he was at Yale. They were married in 1967 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After he graduated from business school, Dodd and Nancy lived in San Francisco for several years, making life-long friends. Dodd was in the investment business and belonged to the San Francisco Golf Club, where he was a member for 40 years and, one year, won the club championship. His love of Oregon took the family to Eugene and then Portland. He worked for Farwest Steel, a family business, and started an Oregon franchise for Church’s Fried Chicken restaurants. In 1981, Dodd and Nancy founded Storables, a retail business based in Portland that focuses on household storage and organizing products. Dodd was invigorated by the retail business. He loved working with his employees, meeting interesting business associates, and traveling to find products in the US, Europe and Asia.

Travel was an important part of Dodd’s life. He visited Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea with his daughter Paige, and China, Spain, and Germany with his daughter Cameron. He also accompanied his cousin, Steve Terjeson, on numerous family history tours around the West. Paris was his favorite city; he filled his trips there with Nancy visiting as many museums as possible. Recently, Dodd developed a serious interest in genealogy. He attended several conferences and connected with distant relatives from his pioneer family across the US and Europe.

Dodd spent a great deal of time on the Metolius River in Camp Sherman, Oregon, first as a child and later at the family cabin. There he oversaw a constant stream of visiting friends and family. He spent many hours working on the property, returning to his roots in a small way by planting and tending to ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir trees and building irrigation systems to water them. Often guests were handed a shovel and shears! He took long bike rides, and was an avid hiker, always returning to his chair by the river to read books on history, and his beloved Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Seldom taking time to relax, Dodd pushed himself to be productive most of every day. He also had high expectations of others, but he was known for his love, loyalty, and generosity. Fact- based discussions appealed to him, and he often took an unpopular stance to promote deeper thought and analysis.

Dodd is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Nancy; three children, Alexandra Paige Fischer, Cameron Ward Fischer and Christopher Dodd Fischer; son-in-laws, Seamus Walsh and Timothy Krigbaum; four much loved grandchildren, Connor and Saoirse Walsh, and Lucia and Milo Krigbaum; his sister Alex Morse (Charles), with whom he says he never exchanged a harsh word; and his constant companion, Sophie Dog.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Dodd on January 4th, 2018. Please email for more information.

In lieu of flowers, Dodd’s family asks that remembrances be sent in his name to OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to support pancreatic cancer research, Oregon Historical Society, or Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.


Ralph Protsik remembers: “I started a letter to John Pinney for the Class Notes after Dodd’s death — then realized I was lapsing into maudlin. What I wanted to say was something about Dodd’s incredible gift for bringing people together. It just came second nature to him. I think of his role in reassembling Sisyphus, making sure we connected at reunions and class dinners. Fair to say, without Dodd’s intervention I never would have gone to the Herb Allison’s surprise birthday party in Westport in 2010, or the class dinner later that month. I had pretty much fallen off the class grid, other than occasional reunions. Because of that class dinner I became reinvigorated, contributed a few pieces for the Class Notes, and eventually was asked to edit the Class Book. All because of Dodd. That aside, I just loved being with him. He made me and everyone around him feel good about life.