Marty Fischer of Monticello, Ill. passed away on October 22, 2014, at Carle Hospital in Urbana, Ill. from injuries sustained in an auto accident. She was 56.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, at 10 a.m. at the Monticello United Methodist Church, 212 S. Independence, Monticello, Ill. The Rev. Matthew Stump will officiate.
Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home, 201 N. Elm, Champaign, is assisting with arrangements.
Marty was born in Albuquerque, N.M. to John and Marie McKellar. She grew up in the Jemez mountains near Jemez Springs, N.M. After graduating high school in Chama, N.M., she attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M., earning an Associate degree in secretarial administration.
Marty began working at the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in Chama during the summer of 1977. While working at the railroad she met Russ Fischer and they were married in 1981. In 1984 Marty learned to fire the coal-burning steam locomotives used on the narrow gauge C&TS Railroad. She became the first female fireman and later, the first female locomotive engineer on the Cumbres & Toltec. She and her husband shared a love of railroading, and particularly, historic steam locomotives and enjoyed working together on the railroads they were both employed by for many years. She would go on to work as an engineer on two other steam-powered railroads, Grand Canyon Railway and the Austin & Texas Central Railroad.
In 1990 Marty and Russ settled in Silver City, N.M. and both worked for Southwestern Railroad. They began a family during their time here and had two children. Marty was never afraid of hard work, and working side by side with her husband, helped build their own home.
The family moved to Monticello, Ill. in 2004 when Russ took a job in Champaign. Marty dedicated her time and considerable efforts to raising two daughters and making a wonderful home, always filled with laughter and happiness, for her family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John McKellar in 1997 and Marie McKellar in 2004. She is survived by her husband, Russ, of Monticello, Ill., two daughters, Taryn O’Dell, and Calli, both of Illinois; two sisters, Lee Anne Davis and Sherry Lajeunesse; and a brother, Archie McKellar, all of New Mexico.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Piatt County Ecumenical Food Pantry, 212 S. Independence, Monticello, IL 61856.
Condolences may be offered online at www.HeathandVaughn.com.
Dear Russ and Girls,
I just heard the news late this evening.
Marty was a very very good friend to me.
I can't imagine the sadness all of you must be going through.
Marty was truly a beautiful, kind, loving, funny, spirit. Always so joyful.
I will miss her dearly.
My prayers and hugs pour out to the three of you and may this comfort you.
Patty Scheierman- Rick’s sister.
Always a friendly smile...always positive...always a delight to be around. Marty is missed by all who knew her.
Our most sincere condolences to Russ and family.
Al & Rich Richmond
To all Marty’s family and friends there (IL) and here (NM), sincerest condolences at this time of loss.