Joan Ellen Fischer, 85

Memorial services for Joan Ellen McGurrin Fischer, 85, of Ava, formerly of Gainesville, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 13, 2019, at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home in Ava with Pastor Neal Crum officiating. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Mrs. Fischer died April 5 at Heart of the Ozarks nursing home in Ava. 

She was born March 13, 1934, in Norwood, Ohio, the daughter of John and Carolyn McGurrin. After graduating high school early, she worked as a secretary and was adept at taking shorthand; she could type 85 words a minute. 

On July 14, 1951, in Norwood, she married Lionel Darrell Fischer. They were married more than 66 years before Mr. Fischer’s death in April 2018. 

When the Fischers accepted the Jesus Christ as their Savior, they moved to Springfield to attend Bible college. Afterward, they headed to Taiwan as Baptist missionaries. While there, Mrs. Fischer used her secretarial skills as she helped her husband with corresponence and newsletters sent out each month. She also played the pump organ or piano for services. She spoke excent Mandarin and taught English to the Chinese as a way of meeting people and telling them about Jesus. She was adored by the Chinese women and children. 

By witnessing, distributing gospel tracts, training preachers and sending missionaries to other countries, she and her husband helped establish three churches that are still going strong: Grace Baptist Church in NanGong, Taichung Baptist Tabernacle in Taichung and Typing Baptist Church in Typing. A new church was also founded a few years ago in Shir Lin, where they had started a chapel in the 1950s.

The Fischers lived for a while in Gainesville.

Mrs. Fischer enjoyed flowers and was able to make fresh flower arrangements every week in Taiwan. She loved to cook and host parties, and she enjoyed various crafts. She loved her family, but most of all she loved Jesus.

She is survived by her three children; Connie Fischer of Ava, Cynthia Fischer of Norwood, Ohio, and James Fischer and wife Peggy of Cincinnati, Ohio; 10 grandchildren:  Joshua Gillis, Tamara Marshall and husband Matt, Benjamin Nichols, Nathan Nichols and  Autumn Anderson, Seth Nichols, Elijah Nichols, Hannah, Joel and Luke Fischer; five great-grandchildren: Stephen, Kylie and Rebecca Marshall, and Mason and Olivia Nichols; a sister, Vera Brown; a brother, Jack McGurrin and wife Gloria; and many other relatives and friends who will miss her dearly.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and a grandson, Isaac Nichols. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Bread Upon the Water Gospel Tract Ministries.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, directors.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
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Phone: (417) 679-4641
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