Sometimes, a Monday morning email can hit between the eyes like a cold, steel hammer, leaving its reader dazed and wondering what he or she just read or if it could really be true. Such was the case with an email that arrived in our computer mailbox informing us that Ed Fisher, as beloved and energetic a man as we have met in years, had passed away.
If you knew Leki, you knew Ed, and he was a gem. Another email sent to us today from an industry personality summed up Ed's show personality so well: "We used to compare schwag notes at Outdoor Retailer. He would tell me 'Oh, go see so and so over at X and they will take care of you.' Ed always got the best stuff. I think because HE was the best stuff. I truly have used him as an image as to what I want to be when I grow up. I will carry that image the rest of my life. From one schwag master to another…. I will miss him."
We thought long and hard about how we would craft this story tribute to Ed today, and frankly, there is no better way than to let a man who has known Ed longer than any of us be given the floor. Greg Wozer, general manager of Leki in North America, crafted the following in Ed's honor:
"Ed Fisher passed away Thursday night. Even as I am writing this it just does not seem possible that 'Mr. Fisher' is gone. As he did everyday, he lived life to the fullest. He was at Leki Thursday processing warranty returns and learning a new software program to make the procedure even more efficient. He left at 5 p.m. wishing everyone his usual, energetic 'good night, everyone!' and this time a heart-felt 'Happy Easter,' as well. He went to his Thursday night badminton match as he has for many years. You can probably all imagine how he lit up the court with his energy and enthusiasm as he did whenever he arrived anywhere. He collapsed between games and was unable to be revived.
Mr. Fisher was fiercely dedicated to his three boys and their families, and had a special bond with his seven grandchildren. He was an avid skier and hiker and I would argue that he has put in more miles Nordic walking than anyone in North America as he was a daily fixture with his Leki poles every morning along the Niagara River walk.
Ed worked at Leki the past 13 years. While Ed attended his first Outdoor Retailer show simply to be an extra hand to Gregg Fisher and me, he immediately became an invaluable part of the team and a Leki trade show booth icon. Incredibly humble and unassuming, we were all fortunate to have had Ed meet and greet our dealers and the media. He sold the Leki brand with pure passion and became fast friends with everyone he met. And no one knew how to work the show schwag like Ed. His work with pole warranty and repair was yet another opportunity for him to apply his unique personal touch and I would often find him on the phone with a consumer patiently explaining a solution to their 'problem,' and making yet another friend in the process.
He loved Leki. While hiking and skiing, he was always bedecked with Leki logos. You couldn’t miss him. He wore his Leki patches like badges of honor and he always did the brand proud. At 76 years, he still skied like a banshee. He was looking forward to the upcoming sales meeting and Trail Days next month, as well as the next Outdoor Retailer show. His energy was endless. If we ever attempted to slow him down, it was not out of concern for his age, rather it was so we could keep up!
I am fortunate to have known Mr. Fisher my entire life. Our families were close friends and we grew up camping and skiing together. I can honestly say that I never saw Ed mad or utter a discouraging word about anyone. His smile and good nature were genuine. What you saw was what you got. With his passing, childhood memories have become more dear.
Mr. Fisher will be greatly missed."
Lindy Spiezer of Leki added the following, "If you knew Ed, send some good thoughts his way next time you are hiking out in the wilderness or Nordic walking." Messages of condolence and remembrance can be sent to Leki at email@example.com.
The Fisher family has graciously declined flowers. Memorials to the charity or trail club of your choice in Ed's name gratefully accepted.