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Capt. O.A. Fish

March 7, 1934 ~ May 29, 2022 (age 88)

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Obituary

Capt. O. A. Fish, Jr, age 88 of Bostic, died Sunday, May 29, 2022 at Hospice House in Forest City.   

Preceded in death by his daughter, Barbara Jean Fish, his parents, Otho Alden Fish, Sr, Pauline Padgett Fish as well as  brothers; Alden Eugene Fish, Paul Jerry Fish, Joel Emanuel Fish, Douglas Jerome Fish, Ronald Delbert Fish and one sister, Wanda Oneita Fish. 

He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Andersen Fish. Daughters and their Families: Cheryl Whiteside Husband: Doug Whiteside Children: Jennifer, husband Billy Evans, Children Jacob, Scott, Jedidiah, Dominic Josh Whiteside Jessi, husband Eric Procunier Lisa Haulk Husband: Donnie Haulk Children: Michelle, husband Dr. Matthew Kramer, children, Annaliesa, Alden, Amelia Amber, husband Michael Jones, children, Samuel, Estelle Ethan Haulk, wife Anastasia, children, Adelaide, Charlotte Gabriel Haulk Michael Haulk Kim Ruppe Husband: John C. Ruppe Children: Jonathan Ruppe, wife Kimmy, child, Isaac,  survived by sisters, Dorcas Velma Barnes, Carolyn Maxine Biltcliffe and brother James David Fish.

Pepaw, the patriarch of our beautiful family. A true cornerstone of the community. A visionary. God’s humble servant. An author. A soldier. A pastor. An aviator whose love for the sky was positively contagious. The best harmonica player we’ve ever heard. A man who smiled easily and loved with his entire being… whose kindness and sense of peace had the ability to pierce straight through to your soul and heal it. A man who made everyone he met feel like they were family and whose love and advocacy for children is perhaps his greatest legacy. Born on March 7, 1934 in Caroleen, NC to Pauline and Otho Fish. Spent most of his young life in Rutherford county, settling in the Mount Vernon area with his nine siblings. He graduated from Mount Vernon School.

He joined the Air Force in 1951 and did his basic training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. He was a member of the famous Tent City, Flight Group 2446, which was an honor flight unit during the Korean War. After leaving the Air Force, he moved to Buffalo, New York to work for the Chevrolet Aviation Company. While in Buffalo, he worked on his Commercial pilot rating at the Niagara Falls Airport. He often flew sightseeing groups over Niagara Falls. It was there that he met his wife, the love of his life, Charlotte. They returned to North Carolina where he began flying small aircraft at what is now known as the Rutherford Airport. He started flying with Eastern Airlines in 1964 and retired as Captain in 1989. While he was flying for Eastern Airlines, he and his wife Charlotte founded South Mountain Christian Camp. Below are his own words, from their first camp newsletter. Captain Fish describes the purpose and vision behind the camp: “It started in 1964. After a long struggle of hard work, long hours and many sacrifices I had met and obtained my goal of becoming an airline pilot. The job turned out to be everything I expected it to be. It was and still is a great career, but it didn’t bring peace to my inward being. I accepted Christ as my Savior at a young age, but only called on Him if I needed Him. Well, three years after I had gotten my job with the airlines, I turned thirty. Depression set in; no goals to reach, life half over, “It’s all down hill from here” type of feelings. I needed Him. One night God started dealing with me about how I had neglected my relationship with Him and with my family and friends just to satisfy my own desires in life. It was a hard thing to see myself in this light, but I knew it was true, and with much sorrow I asked Him to forgive me. I asked Christ to come into my life and take control, and with His help I would follow Him the rest of my days. Well, things just have not been the same since. The most important thing I have done since I had this experience is to be obedient to the hunger He gave me for His word. I feel our spiritual maturity depends on knowing His inspired word; the Holy Bible. I have often asked God what His plan for my life was and His answer always seemed to be the same, “Take up your cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:12). If I would do this He would lead me into His plans. I now know that South Mountains Christian Youth Camp is a large part of those plans. Not only for my life but also for my wife and daughters. I hope you will let it be a part of God’s plan for your life too.”

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Captain Fish gave his life to Christ and spreading the word of the Righteousness of Christ that is available to all. His favorite Bible verse was Romans 8:28: And we know (with great confidence) that God (who is deeply concerned about us) causes all things to work (as a plan) for good for those who love God and are called to His plan and purpose. Charlotte and O.A attend Father’s Vineyard Church in Spindale, North Carolina.

The funeral service will be held at 2 o’clock on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at Fathers Vineyard with Reverend Terry Howell officiating and a eulogy by Mr. Steve Collins.  The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 1:45 prior to the service at the church.  Interment will follow in the Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery with Military Honors accorded by The Rutherford County Honor Guard. 

Our family would like to thank Accordius Health of Rutherford County and Hospice of the Carolina Foothills for the exceptional care and love provided for Pepaw and our family.

 The Padgett and King Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

 

*In lieu of flowers, Captain Fish requested that donations be made to South Mountain Christian Camp.*

 

 

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