David J. Fisher

On Dec. 7, 1936, David Judson Fisher entered the world, dressed to the nines, wearing the charming smile his friends and family would come to see so often throughout his life. He was born in Boone, Iowa to Harold and Alice (Judson) Fisher. David was the third child blessed into the Fisher family — Alice “Bebe” Arbuckle, and Robert “Bob” Lee Fisher. 

David leaves behind his wife, Dorie (Onthank) Fisher, whom he met when she moved a few doors down in Clear Lake in 1955. 

David graduated from Grinnell College in 1959 and received his JD at the University of Iowa School of Law in 1962. David and Dorie married on Sept. 8, 1962.

After returning home from serving in the National Guard at Fort Polk, Louisiana, David began working at the Onthank Company in 1963. After years of working alongside his father-in-law, George Onthank, David took over as President in 1977. He oversaw phenomenal growth with floor covering, DuPont™ Corian®, and window treatments, through 2012.

David served on many boards and foundations both private, nonprofit, and government. He always gave 100% on everything he did. David served as President of the National I Club, as well as serving on the Board of Regents, and the University of Iowa Foundation. Additionally, he was a long-time member of Wakonda Club, where he also served as President from 1995-1996.

Some of David’s strongest passions included his beloved country, a golf game at Wakonda, sprinkle donuts at Clear Lake, Frank Sinatra, an extra-large pink champagne birthday cake from Hiland Bakery, and his bichon frise, Louie. On any given Saturday, you could find David at Kinnick Stadium or Carver Hawkeye Arena, cheering on his beloved Hawkeyes. 

Above all, David’s strongest passion was a fierce love for his family. Whether it was a week up north at Clear Lake, a birthday celebration, or just another Sunday night family dinner filled with an extra helping of spaghetti and cake, his eyes would light up around his loved ones; he truly brightened every room he was in. 

David absolutely adored and was very proud of his grandkids, who knew him as “Baba” — Jeffrey Triplett, Sarah Triplett and fiancé, DaeJohn, Megan (Teddy) Stanton, Nicholas Wagler and fiancé, Dena, Emily (Ben) Field, Matt Triplett, Brieanna Wagler and fiancé, Josh, George Fisher, Addison Wagler; great-grandson, Cameron Wagler; and great-granddaughter, Leighton Field.

David had a special way of making people laugh. He had an infectious charm, and people around him couldn’t help but gravitate toward him. He touched the lives of everyone and the imprint he left on this world is larger than life.

On May 30, 2021, David passed peacefully in his sleep. He leaves behind a son, Gregory (Aimee) Fisher, of West Des Moines; daughter, Anne (Tom) Triplett, of Urbandale; and daughter, Amy (Chris) Wagler, of Clear Lake.

A celebration of John’s life was held on Friday, June 4, at Glen Oaks Country Club. 

Please direct memorials to the YMCA of Greater Des Moines and the State University of Iowa Foundation to benefit the David J. and Dorie Onthank Fisher Scholarship Fund.

Arrangements by Iles Dunn’s Chapel, Des Moines.

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