The Dakota Conference would like to congratulate Arthur Fischer for becoming one of Dakota Conference’s centenarians as of April 19, 2018. He is now 101.
Art was born in Rusland Township, North Dakota, where he still resides among fellow Germans from Russia. He is the youngest of seven brothers and sisters. “My oldest brothers were born in Russia. I do have a half-sister who is still alive,” he adds.
Fischer’s grandfather and family in Russia were Adventists. When the Bolshevists took over Russia, they killed the Germans because they were educated. “Grandfather had gotten his wife and children out, except one daughter who did not want to go. He was ready to go on the next boat, but he was executed before he could leave. The daughter was sent to Siberia and never heard from again.” Sadly, Fischer’s mother’s parents were also executed.
Fischer is quick to tell you about his wife of 70-1/2 years. “I’ve done many foolish things myself. I got married before I was a church member. She won me. She was a beautiful Christian.”
Fischer’s wife, Ruth Wagner, grew up three-quarters of a mile from the Fischer’s farm. The Fischer boys drove the horse and buggy to school each day and picked up the Wagner kids.
“I would pick them up and drop them off at night. Pretty soon I didn’t drop her off anymore,” Fischer smiles. “She said she didn’t like me when we were kids. I was 21 and she was 19 when we got married. We had a beautiful marriage.” He tells of being married for 13 years before he finally accepted Christ as his Savior on Oct. 13, 1952.
The Fischers have three daughters: Delores McKinven, Gloria Pake and Phyllis Nudd; six grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; and 5 great-great-granddaughters.
Fischer says his upbringing kept pushing him back to the faith. “It was strange. I was a gasoline-truck driver and I was driving on Sabbath. There on a big rock someone had painted something about God. That bothered me. I guess the Lord used that to wake me up.” Fischer says he didn’t pay his tithe either. “One day I was out on the tractor working and the thought came to me, God gives you everything you’ve got. You owe him something. I talked to my wife. Imagine her joy, since she was raised an Adventist.”
Harley Kreiter tells of Fischer spending time at the pool hall before his conversion. “One day Ruth took their two girls and went to the pool hall. Art asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ She replied, ‘If it is good enough for you, it is good enough for the girls and I,’ and she sat on the barstool.” Fischer was horrified and immediately took his wife and children home. “They were never apart after that,” says Kreiter.
Fischer wanted to be an engineer but he didn’t have a chance to get an education. “I have since become everything. I am an engineer, I am an electrician and I am a farmer. For many years I was the only person in the area who could weld. I have a good mind. I still remember things.”
Fischer now spends his winters in Arizona with one of his daughters. “It is warmer. I can’t take cold anymore.” When asked if he had a secret to such a long life he quickly replied, “Thank God in the morning when you wake up.”