Longtime SBS Supporter Lillian Fisher Remembered for Her Passion for Justice

Judge Lillian S. Fisher—a supporter of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and an advocate for women and children—died on Sunday, June 7, 2015, at the age of 93.

Lillian Fisher was born in New York in 1921. She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1942, and then went to work for Bell Laboratories. Fisher married Bernard Fisher in 1945, and they had three children, Margie Cunningham, Michael Fisher and Anne Segal.

The family moved west in 1955 and eventually made their way to Tucson. Fisher enrolled in law school and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1963. After graduation, she opened her own law practice, and in 1974, she was elected as a Pima County Superior Court Judge.

Fisher served as a Superior Court Judge for 17 years and was an advocate for women in law. She helped to found Arizona Women Lawyers Association and was a founding member of the National Association of Women Judges. 

Fisher has left an indelible mark on Tucson. She helped establish many Tucson organizations, including Tucson Botanical Gardens, Southern Arizona Hiking Club, and Invisible Theater. She also helped create a child advocate program, served as a part-time faculty member in the UA James E. Rogers College of Law, and established the Lillian S. Fisher Prize in Environmental Law and Public Policy. In her retirement, Fisher continued to serve Tucson as a philanthropist and supporter of education.

Fisher was a founding member of the Magellan Circle, which is the donor society for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. As a “Patron” in the Magellan Circle, Fisher supported student scholarships in addition to her gift to the college. This year, she endowed her Magellan Circle gift, which means that a student will be given a scholarship in her name forever. In addition to her continuous support for the past 12 years, Fisher introduced many new friends to the college, and she was a regular attendee at its Downtown Lecture Series.

On April 15, 2015, Fisher received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Magellan Circle dinner.

Fisher’s passion for justice and civic leadership is an inspiration to her children and grandchildren. Both Margie and Anne practice law in Tucson, and her grandson, Paul Cunningham, is a Tucson City councilmember. 

Click here to read an article on Fisher in the Arizona Daily Star and here to read a story in the Arizona Jewish Post.

The family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Lillian Fisher Magellan Circle Scholar Endowment. Click here to donate.



Published Date: 

06/09/2015 - 12:34pm