Milton Byron Fisher, Jr. passed away peacefully at home in Murray, Utah, on September 16, 2023, surrounded by family during a BYU football game, a fitting end for a great man who loved home, family, and the Y. He is survived by his sister Carol Fisher [John] Harper, his beloved wife, Ida Joan Peterson Fisher, his 5 children, Debra Joan Fisher [Thomas] Morgan, Michael Byron [Crystal] Fisher, Janae Fisher [Brian] Powell, Sharlene Fisher [Brian] Taylor, and Peter Charles [Nicole] Fisher, 18 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Byron was born December 5, 1936, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Milton Byron Fisher, Sr. and Louise Larsen Fisher, and has always honored his island origins. He spent his youth working shoulder to shoulder with his beloved parents and siblings in Bountiful and Provo, Utah. He graduated co-valedictorian from Brigham Young High School in Provo, Utah.
Byron loved his 2.5-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Mexico, and remained enthusiastically fluent in Spanish his entire life. During his mission, he helped to open cities to LDS mission work, including Guadalajara, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, and Querétaro.
Byron then enrolled at BYU in Provo, Utah, and began dating Ida Joan Peterson. They soon became "Joan and Byron" and would remain so for the rest of his life. Their love lives on throughout their extended families. To say “Byron loved his family,” hardly captures the hundreds of loving relationships.
Joan and Byron would finish BYU together, move to Washington, DC to attend George Washington University Law School, and have a daughter, Debbie. Byron worked his legal career at Fabian and Clendenin in Salt Lake City, specializing in school district law, a specialty he would later teach at BYU Law School. Their Salt Lake City years completed their family with 4 more children, Michael, Janae, Shari, and Peter, and spanned more than 30 years, 4 homes, and 1 mountain cabin.
Byron worked hard to balance his legal career with family development, community service, and personal hobbies. He served two terms in the Utah State House of Representatives. His service in a community of faith was consistent throughout his life. He served in almost every capacity as a member of the LDS church, including as the bishop of the Winder 10th Ward and of the Big Cottonwood Stake Singles Ward, where he was affectionately known as “Bish Fish.” After retirement, Joan and Byron would combine their faith and professionalism as missionary servants in both Brazil and Mexico.
The post-professional years moved Joan and Byron to Springdale, Utah, surrounding themselves with the beauty of Zion National Park, pottery, travel, and visits from friends, children, and grandchildren. Byron said, “Children are great, grandchildren are perfect, and great-grandchildren are almost exalted.” After several years, they returned to Salt Lake City, settling near family in Murray, Utah.
Byron was a talented tennis player and skier, but pottery was the craft he loved to share. He became an expert at creating thousands of household items, most of which passed hands with a smile as a “gift from the heart.” These pieces of his legacy can be found in hearts and homes throughout the world.
Byron’s later contributions were made possible by the gift of a heart transplant, allowing him vitality for another 17 years, an offering he prayed could be measured in lives touched and lives blessed. It is Big By’s dying wish that any donations given by his passing go to an organ transplantation charity of the giver’s choosing.
Funeral services will be held at Joan and Byron’s home ward chapel at 6350 South Rodeo Lane, in Murray, Utah.
Gathering: Friday, September 22, 2023: 5pm-7pm.
Family Greeting: Saturday, September 23, 2023: 9:30am-10:30am.
Funeral: Saturday, September 23, 2023: 11am.
Internment: Larkin Sunset Gardens,1950 East Dimple Dell Road, Sandy, Utah.
BYU at Kansas: Saturday, September 23, 2023: 1:30pm.