LEBANON, Ohio (WDTN) – One thing we’ve learned over the last two years of the Covid pandemic is that sometimes good news shines through in the worst of times.

Last Christmas, Loman Fisher III– and both of his parents– died of Covid-19.

But instead of letting that tragedy turn the holidays into a time of grief and sorrow, his family is using the memory of Loman to make the holidays brighter for others.

Fisher’s widow, Tina, vividly remembers how her family’s great tragedy started, one year ago.

“The Saturday before Thanksgiving we got a call that she had spiked a fever,” Tina Fisher said. “They didn’t think it was Covid. They just thought her body was shutting down.”

She’s talking about her mother-in-law: 87-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, Jean Fisher. Thinking Jean’s time was short, her care facility brought her family in for end-of-life visits. Then… Jean’s Covid test came back positive.

“She passed away Thanksgiving Evening,” Tina said. “And then by the Friday after Thanksgiving, Loman and Carolyn were sick. Then the next week, Loman’s Dad and I tested positive, too.”

Tina and Loman’s sister Carolyn recovered.

Loman and his father, Loman Junior, did not.

“As the weeks progressed… they both got worse and worse,” Tina said. “We canceled his Mom’s funeral.”

They both died before Christmas.

Loman Junior at age 90.

Loman III at age 58.

Covid made saying goodbye difficult.

“We didn’t get a good closure,” Tina said. “It was really hard.”

But now– a year later– the Fishers are honoring Loman’s memory in their own unique way.

You might call it Loman’s way.

“He had a real passion for helping families,” Tina said. “So I thought it would be a great way to honor him by helping some families in need. Because he loved Christmas. It was his favorite time.”

Throughout the next couple of weeks, the Fishers are collecting donations for families in need. It started Saturday with an open house. It would’ve been the day of the Fisher’s annual Christmas party.

“I thought it was important to carry on our traditions as much as we could,” Tina said. “But I also thought it was important to do something to honor him as well. To make it a little more special. And I’m hoping this turns into an annual thing and maybe we can do it every year.”

They’re doing everything from paying electric bills to paying tuition, from buying new car tires to buying Christmas presents.

They’ve dubbed it “Adopt a Family for Loman.” His sister says it’s the perfect way to honor her big brother.

“He would love to see the benefit that people are getting from this,” said Loman’s sister, Carolyn Smith.” And how many people are being helped. And that we took a very, very sad and tragic situation and have used it to create good.”

Tina doesn’t know if any of the families they will be helping ever met Loman, but she does want them to know what kind of man her husband was: a man with a passion for Christ and Christmas, a passion for life and a passion for people.

“He was very giving,” Tina said. “He would help anybody that needed help.”

You can help with Adopt A Family for Loman as well.

The Fishers have created an Amazon wish list for items for families in need. You can find that list here.

In addition to the Amazon wish list, they are accepting donations of non-perishable and shelf-stable food, toiletries, and household items like laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc.

Items can be sent directly from the wish list, or dropped off in person at Countryside Church of the Nazarene today, Wednesday, December 8th and next Wednesday, December 15th, from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm.

Monetary donations can be mailed to the following address:

Countryside Church of the Nazarene
1436 Deerfield Road
Lebanon, OH 45036.

Please mark all donations ATTN: Adopt A Family.