MCPP: Where are you originally from?
Fisk: From Sterling, Michigan, born and raised. My parents moved to Sterling from the Reese area in the 1920s when they purchased the farm. I’m the youngest of 10 children.
My siblings and I all have wonderful marriages. None of us has had a divorce. In March, my bride of 57 years, Elizabeth “Betty Lou” Louise Fisk passed away. There were 400 people at her showing. She touched so many lives. She made me a better person.
People donated money to place a large stone with her name on it near the Adams Township playground.
It’s great to share in my siblings’ 50th wedding anniversaries. One of my brothers just celebrated his 70th anniversary.
While I’m retired, I still like to keep active. I cut wood almost every day and also still provide a little help farming.
My family strives to be honest and caring people.
MCPP: Have you been involved in public offices?
Fisk: Yes. I was township supervisor for Adams Township in Arenac County for 30 years. I ran for township clerk when nobody else ran for that position. I was asked to consider it and I jumped in. I like being involved in the community.
I like interacting with my elected leaders. Even when I disagree with them, I feel it’s important that they hear my concerns and that I hear their concerns. I feel it’s very important to know your elected officials.
I like speaking with people directly. I often hear gossip and rumors started that never help out a situation. Speaking with people directly is the most respectful way to do it.
We’re still unzoned in our township. I believe in that freedom. Zoning has its place, but not here in our rural community. We shouldn’t be regulated to see how many cats you can have.
I currently serve as an appointed member on the Michigan Department of Human Services board.
MCPP: Tell us about your children.
Fisk: I have five children. Three boys and two girls. All of the boys went into farming, just like me. I remember when I was a kid, tying a rake to the back of my tricycle and pretending that I was plowing fields. One of my sons and one of my daughters are in Alaska now. One son is in the Upper Peninsula, and my oldest boy is here. Our other daughter passed away from brain cancer.
I have 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
MCPP: What keeps you in Michigan?
Fisk: Having children in Alaska, I’ve driven out there at least four times. It’s beautiful there, but I always enjoy coming home to Michigan. I have options to live almost anywhere, but I can’t beat the view I have outside of my 10-foot-wide window in the dining room. It’s a wilderness of freedom that I soak up as much as I can.
MCPP: How did you first hear about the Mackinac Center?
Fisk: It was at one of the first events the Mackinac Center had after it started.
I remember going to the Lansing Center and speaking with someone there at a display table. I read the material and struck up a conversation that has lasted until today. I liked what the Mackinac Center was doing then, and it has only gotten better.
MCPP: What value do you find in the Mackinac Center?
Fisk: The research of a limited government. I like that approach. We are so over-regulated. I see all of the opportunities my family and I have had. That opportunity is fading away fast with regulation.
MCPP: Why do you think it’s important to be a Mackinac Center Legacy Society Member?
Fisk: It’s vital to preserve freedom and be willing to pay for that freedom.