Melba Ruth Cole Fisher

Photo of Melba Ruth Cole Fisher
Melba Ruth Cole Fisher was born on the Cole family dairy farm near Cole's Chapel Methodist Church at Branch, Arkansas to Conrad Christopher and Clara Whitman Cole. She grew up on the family farm which was the hub of that farming community with its cotton gin, saw and grist mills. Melba graduated from Branch High School where she participated in basketball and played in the band. She was the first college graduate in her family, receiving her teaching degree from the College of the Ozarks. Melba's father got the college to defer payment of her first semester tuition with the promise of payment from the proceeds of the sale of a cow. Melba began her teaching career at Charleston, then at Fort Smith High School. While living in Ft. Smith, she married Gerald Homer Fisher on September 29, 1950. In 1960, Melba moved with her husband and four children to Hot Springs, Arkansas where she lived until 2007. She resumed her teaching career at Ramble and Park Elementary Schools before retiring after 27 years of teaching. She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church and its choir. She was also a member of the Criterion Club and served as a volunteer at the Shepherd Center. Melba was an accomplished artist whose work includes the large painting of Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center which still hangs in the foyer of the administration building. She also designed the large mosaic on the front of the First United Methodist Church on Central Avenue in Hot Springs. Melba is preceded in death by her parents and her two brothers, Dwight and Jonathan (Sonny). She is survived by her husband Gerald, who resides in Little Rock, Arkansas, her children, Cynthia, Chris, Sarah (husband Jeffrey Gleeson), and Greg (wife Kim), and six grandchildren: Cole, Taylor, Erica, and Madison Fisher, and Meredith and Julia Gardial. Her family requests that memorials be made to Cole's Chapel (Branch, Arkansas), First United Methodist Church (Hot Springs, Arkansas), or Hospice. Thoughts can be shared with the family at

Published April 18, 2014

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