Earl Fischer was a man of very few words, but those around this part of the state knew that when he was talking, it was important and time to listen.

Fischer, 66, passed away on Tuesday, December 1. He served on the Lennox Fire Department for over 30 years and was the town's fire chief for a decade. He was the man that was there on the late nights, through the snowstorms, or any form of an issue surrounding the area of Lennox.

He truly was a local hero.

I know that he has impacted many people around the Lennox area. Earl also managed to do so much by saying so little. Earl had this mystique of being the principal that you never wanted to be called to. If you ended up in his garage, you were sure to get a lesson in life. If you had an issue on the 4th of July, you were sure to hear his voice over the scanner.

On such a 4th of July night, I was at my in-law's house watching the Lennox fireworks show. There was a report of a dumpster fire on the Harrisburg/Sioux Falls line, and multiple departments were trying to figure out who to dispatch. Earl, being Earl, jumped on and informed them that they had fireworks show ongoing but directed Harrisburg to take care of its district.

He was a leader for more than just Lennox.

When you really got to know Earl, it became easy to see that there was a soft side to him. That's the Earl that I'll always remember. Earl was my wife's uncle, and he made a long-lasting impact on her life. As he did with all of his children, grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews.

A few weeks ago, a small benefit was held for Earl that included a parade by his house. On short two-day notice, members of the community, other fire stations, EMTs, and friends put together a parade that strung together for about a half-hour. This all was used as a way to help Earl and his family in his fight against cancer. It also showed how much he was appreciated as multiple people essentially said goodbye.

While his fight against cancer has now come to an end, I felt that it was important to share part of a story of a man that dedicated so much of his life to this area of the state. He won't ever be forgotten around here.

Services for Earl will be held on Saturday at Germantown Presbyterian Church in rural Chancellor. A link to his obituary is here.

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