GUILDERLAND — On Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, Superwoman folded up her cape and gained her wings. Catherine Laboure Fischer of Guilderland was surrounded by her loving family when she passed on peacefully to be with her husband, Burt, and brother, Jim.
Catherine has touched the lives of so many with her kind heart and generosity, giving so much of herself to others, even in her weakened state. She never forgot a birthday, anniversary or christening. She was always interested in what you had to say and loved to give sound advice, whether you wanted it or not. She was a woman of tremendous strength, overcoming so many obstacles in her life and always pushing through. She taught us to never give up. Even her doctors marveled at how she beat Lymphoma in 2015. She has always been strong in her faith and very active in the Catholic church. She valued hard work and education. Her self-deprecating humor, love of life, energy and perseverance will truly be missed.
Catherine’s father was a real estate mogul, selling their properties in New Jersey and New York City to buy a farm in Richmondville when she was a young child. On the farm, she enjoyed many things like conducting chicken choirs, sleeping with her favorite pig, Gwendolyn, and directing variety shows with her mother and younger brothers. In high school she was a cheerleader, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, prom queen and voted most popular in her class of 25. It helped that she had six brothers in the school with influence over such things.
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After high school, she moved to New York City to work and attend school. It was there that she met the charming man who would become her husband. Their marriage gave her four stepchildren and they had six more, popping them out one after another like Catholic families do.
She earned her master’s degree in education while raising young children. Her teaching career was short-lived as she supported her husband’s dream to open a Carvel ice cream store, relocating her family from Long Island to Queensbury. Despite the long hours, she persevered for her family and was very proud that all six of her children finished college. After closing the store, she earned an associate degree in health administration technology, although she worried about passing Volleyball (as a physical education requirement). While serving as a caretaker for her husband and mother, she started a new career working at St. Peter’s Hospital where she worked for 15 years before retiring.
After retiring, Catherine spent much of her time gardening. She perfected her yard so that something was blooming at all times. She enjoyed volunteering at local soup kitchens, for Community Caregivers and as a literacy volunteer. She loved her water aerobics classes, book club, spending time with her grandchildren and telling her children what they were doing wrong with their lives (in a loving way, of course).
To honor Catherine, there will be a Mass held at St. Madeleine Sophie at 10 a.m. today, Wednesday, Oct. 9, with a luncheon to follow.