Donald “DJ” Fischer
Donald “DJ” Fischer, 30, of Gettysburg, died Sunday, April 27, 2014 in a tragic plane crash south of Highmore, SD.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, May 3 at the Gettysburg School Gym with Father Jerry Kopel officiating. Burial followed in the Gettysburg Cemetery.
Donald Jerome Fischer “DJ” was born May 1, 1983 in Gettysburg, SD to Donald Dale and Laurie (Pollock) Fischer.
DJ was born, raised, and resided in Gettysburg, a community he loved and generously supported. He graduated from Gettysburg High School in 2001 where he enjoyed competing in football, basketball, and track for the Battlers. He was a great friend to all and was named Homecoming King and Male Athlete of the Year his senior year. His true passion was on the football field and he continued his football career with a scholarship to South Dakota State University, where he was an outstanding Jackrabbit for five years. He graduated from SDSU with an Economics degree in 2006. It was at SDSU where he earned his private pilot’s license, and discovered his new passion, FLYING.
He started his flying career by briefly moving to Myrtle Beach, SC to build flight hours by towing banners along the beach. He said the job was horribly boring, but was worth it to become a Commercial Ag Pilot, a career he had been looking forward to since he was a little boy. He moved back to Gettysburg in 2007 to work for Air Kraft Spraying out of Timber Lake, SD. He loved his job dearly and looked forward to every day he was able to do what he loved (unless it was a day full of little fields). He was most comfortable when he was in an airplane and enjoyed giving rides to anyone brave enough to ride with him. Local farmers were always searching the skies, as they knew a “buzz” from DJ was always a possibility.
DJ could never sit still. In addition to flying, he owned and operated Dakota Applicators, a spray foam insulation company that he built into a thriving business. He also was an avid outdoorsman and dedicated his fall each year to guiding at the Paul Nelson Farm pheasant-hunting lodge. He raised and trained two labs, Blondie and Zoey, and loved to watch them flush birds and make impossible retrieves from the field.
DJ was highly regarded in the community of Gettysburg where he was very active. He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He served as the city airport manager and was an active member of the local Friends of the NRA chapter. He also served as an EMT and volunteer firefighter. Everyone praised DJ for his calm and confident demeanor during emergency situations.
DJ, aka “the gentle giant,” was a very selfless man and always put others ahead of himself. He was quite the jokester and the king of “winging it.” Details never really meant much to DJ as long as the end result was close to what he was looking for. He was a light-hearted, sincere man who never let the small things get to him. He truly took life in stride adhering to his motto, “it is what it is.”
DJ met the love of his life, Megan Grove in June of 2012. Sparks flew from the start and they spent as much time as possible together over the next several months. He knew she was “the one” and they got engaged during a well planned “emergency” landing in September of 2013. They were then married in Mexico on March 12, 2014 with family and friends by their side. A good time was definitely had by all.
The couple made the most of their short time together by having fun in whatever they did. They enjoyed traveling together in their Piper Lance airplane to visit family and friends. They also attended every possible Jackrabbit football game and hosted the Mini Winnie Tailgate party at home games.
DJ is survived by his wife Megan of Gettysburg; mother, Laurie (Steve) Robbennolt of Gettysburg; maternal grandparents: Mike and Mary Pollock of Sturgis; paternal grandmother, Dorothy Fischer of Gettysburg; grandmother, Donna Robbennolt of Gettysburg; sisters: Amber (Andy) Mikkelsen, Katelyn and Kelcey Robbennnolt all of Gettysburg; brothers: Tyler (Kelsey) Fischer, Michael Fischer, and Blake Robbennolt all of Gettysburg; nieces: Neva, Olivia, and Isabelle Mikkelsen; nephews: Camdon and Nash Fischer; aunts, uncles, cousins and his two dogs, Blondie and Zoey. He is also survived by his paternal father-in-law, Mark (Sharilyn) Grove of Cedar Falls, IA; maternal mother-in-law, Jackie (Chet) Edinger of Mitchell; brother-in-law, Tanner Grove and sisters-in-law, Molly and Taylor Grove all of Mitchell.
DJ was preceded in death by his father, Donald Fischer; uncles Jerry, Duane, and Donny Pollock; grandfather Wilfred Fischer and Gene Robbennolt.
Our deepest and sincerest gratitude is extended to all of our family and friends, near and far, for your support and prayers in our time of grieving.
A memorial has been established at Great Western Bank, 111 N. East St, Gettysburg, SD 57442.
Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with DJ’s arrangements. (www.familyfuneralhome.net)