Remembering Dr. Newton Fischer

Dr. Newton Duchan Fischer passed peacefully in his home on Saturday September 15, 2018. Fischer established UNC's Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery in 1952 and served as chair of the department for more than 30 years.

Remembering Dr. Newton Fischer click to enlarge Dr. Newton Fischer

Newton Duchan Fischer passed peacefully in his home on Saturday September 15, 2018. He was born on October 21,1921, the youngest of four siblings. A child of the Great Depression, he understood the value of hard work, living simply and embracing life.

After serving two years in the Armed Services, he completed a residency in Otolaryngology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center, one of Samuel Crowe’s last trainees. He met and married his wife, Janet Jordan, an internist specializing in Infectious Diseases, during that time.

Recruited to the UNC School of Medicine when the two final clinical years were added, Dr. Newton Fischer established the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery in 1952. In addition to serving as chief of the department for more than 30 years, he received one of the first otolaryngology training grants from the National Institutes of Health and was honored with the renowned Thomas Jefferson Award for teaching in 1984, jointly with his wife. His graduates created the “Fischer Society” to include graduates of the department. A member of the Triologic Society and the American Academy of Otolaryngology, he received numerous awards.

Since his phased retirement in the 1990's, he has lived in his home, tending to his orchids when he could, and enjoying the company of family and friends. A quick wit and always ready with a humorous riposte, he enjoyed lively discussions with all, but particularly the next generation. He will be remembered for his sense of adventure, inclusiveness, and devotion to family and colleagues.

He is survived by his 5 children: Amelia Fischer Drake, husband Craig L. Drake, Jeannette Fischer Stein, husband Roy Stein, Duncan Kinnear Fischer, wife Anne Billington Fischer, Helen Rich Fischer, and Anne Crowe Fischer, husband Anthony Tufaro. He has always been exceptionally proud of his 8 grandchildren: Sarah Stein, Jacob N. Stein, wife Sayaka Hino, Eva J. Stein, Luke D. Fischer, Kent B. Fischer, Duncan Fischer, Connor D. Drake, and Clifford Drake III.

The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to the Department of Music at he University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – 523. E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514or or to the Newton D. Fischer Professorship, c/o the Medical Foundation, CB # 7565, 123 W Franklin St, Suite 510, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 or to a charity of their choice.