Cover photo for Mary Ellen Fischer's Obituary
Mary Ellen Fischer Profile Photo
1939 Mary 2023

Mary Ellen Fischer

August 8, 1939 — January 19, 2023


Mary Ellen (Steketee) Fischer, born in Holland, Michigan on August 8, 1939, and passed away in Kalamazoo on January 19, 2023 after a short illness.

Mary Ellen graduated from Holland High School in 1957 and from Kalamazoo College in 1961. She met and married David W. Fischer while at Kalamazoo College. After graduation she went on to earn a master’s degree in the Teaching of Math and Science from Western Michigan University. Her first teaching job was in Hartland, Michigan. After returning to Kalamazoo, she taught in the Comstock and Three Rivers schools, the adult education program of the Kalamazoo Public Schools, and at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Mary Ellen was a dedicated teacher, but her efforts were not confined to formal classroom math. She is remembered for teaching advanced math to select groups of early elementary students. She also entertained her children during car trips by teaching them to solve “puzzles,” making math a game. They later discovered these puzzles were taken from a ninth-grade algebra book. Children in the neighborhood remember her taking all of them to the library, movies, swimming, and the Dairy Queen.

Teaching and sometimes organizing vacation Bible school was a favorite summertime activity, and something she did for several decades. She enjoyed Bible studies and was active in Community Bible Study and Bible Study Fellowship for many years.

Choral music was also one of her great joys which she shared with her husband. They both sang in their church choirs for almost fifty years and enjoyed attending choral workshops for some twenty years until the Covid pandemic made that impossible. She sang in the Kalamazoo Community Chorale, a women’s group, for twenty-five years.

Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, Andries R. Steketee and Emma Jane (Ross) Steketee, and by her younger brother Andries D. Steketee. She is survived by her husband David, daughter Joan M. Fischer, son Mark W.F. (Annemarie) Fischer, and grandchildren Adam. C Fischer and Claire Ellen Fischer.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at Second Reformed Church, 2323 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, Michigan, with a reception following the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries. To leave an online condolence, please visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Mary Ellen Fischer, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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