‘He was like a brother,’ Sheriff Fischer remembered for ‘dad jokes’ and community service

GREENE COUNTY — For almost 30 years, Sheriff Gene Fischer put on the badge to serve and protect those in Greene County.

His legacy has been felt well beyond the borders of his own county.

>> Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer passes away

“Gene is just an all-around nice person. He’s a professional and he gets the job done,” said Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson. “But you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy to work with, socialize with and things like that. It’s just terrible.”

Simpson’s friendship with Fischer grew as the two got to know each other through the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, even attending some of the same sheriff’s training sessions in the early 2000s.

“Greene County is part of the southwest district of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association so Gene and I had a long friendship and got to know each other personally,” Simpson said.

Fischer was attending the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association’s President’s Banquet Tuesday night when his health deteriorated.

>> RELATED: Community, law enforcement agencies mourn the loss of Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer

“Sheriff Fischer was there and seemed fine and after everyone kind of left the dinner event, were going back to their rooms and such, that’s when I understand that he experienced this medical emergency,” Simpson said. “A lot of shock because we had just seen him 30 minutes earlier, I think, we had seen him about 30 minutes earlier so – disbelief and just things happened very rapidly.”

Fischer’s sudden passing has those in Greene County remembering the veteran law enforcement leader.

“He was such a part of our community,” said Greene County Judge Adolfo Tornichio. “He was telling dad jokes before they were called dad jokes.”

When Fischer was sworn in as Sheriff in 2003 he told News Center 7 “it’s going to be a challenge and I’m ready to go.”

He never stopped serving the community, including his involvement with the end-of-the-summer tradition at the Greene County Fair.

“He was a big supporter of kids here,” said Senior Fair Board Director Kayla Benton.

One of the fair traditions Fischer would be involved in was closing down the fair each night.

“He always closed the fair and he would announce it. One night I did. There was an auction running late and so I did it,” said Dan Bullen, Greene County Fair Board Treasurer.

“He came in and said that’s my job. I never did it again,” Bullen said with a laugh.

Fischer also has a fun, on-going feud with the owner of Foy’s Halloween Shop in Fairborn.

“I pranked him and he pranked me back,” said Mike Foy, owner of Foy’s. “He was like a brother. He was three years older than me, but he was like a twin brother.”