The Obit For Dick Fischer

Richard L. Fischer

The Washington Post - January 25, 2008

Richard L. Fischer, 78, a retired Army colonel and lobbyist for the Amoco oil company, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 29 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He lived in Alexandria.

Col. Fischer was vice president of government affairs for an oil industry trade group for 14 years until his retirement in 1992.

He served in the Army from 1949, when he was an enlisted soldier, to 1977, when he retired after turning down a promotion to brigadier general because he was tired of moving.

Born in McKees Rocks, Pa., Col. Fischer was scouted while in high school by Ohio State University. From 1946 to 1952, he played minor league baseball for the Boston Braves farm system. He was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point while playing ball but turned down the appointment, got married and enlisted.

After four years, he entered the air defense artillery and was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School at Fort Bliss, Tex. Some of his first assignments were in Japan, as an artillery battery commander and assistant division commander.

In 1962, he became the intelligence adviser to the chief of the Royal Thai Army in Bangkok, where he commanded a counterinsurgency field exercise involving 11 battalion combat teams, 14,000 troops and paramilitary forces.

In 1966, he graduated from what is now Park University in Parkville, Mo. In 1972, he was promoted to colonel, graduated from the U.S. Army War College and received a master's degree in mass communications from Shippensburg State College in Carlisle, Pa.

He served as chief of the Senate Liaison Division for the secretary of defense from 1974 to 1977.

His work as a Washington lobbyist included briefing senators daily on the oil industry. He served on several business-and industry-related committees and on Meridian House International's board of governors.

His military awards included the Legion of Merit medal.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lois Streiner Fischer of Alexandria; three children, Ann Fischer Nguyen of Alexandria, Michael Fischer of Potomac Falls and Carolyn Fischer of Alexandria; and two granddaughters.