John Fischer, 85, passed away peacefully at his home in Cedar Rapids on April 19, 2017.
He is survived by his daughter, Maya Fischer (Minneapolis), and son, Shane Fischer (Minneapolis).
Entrusted with arrangements is Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home.
John was born Feb. 10, 1932, in Budapest, Hungary. He began his career in the hospitality industry in Budapest and also was a member of the Hungarian National Olympic Water Polo team. John escaped Hungary and the Soviet occupation of his homeland following the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. His first escape attempt resulted in his apprehension. It was only the overcrowded state of Soviet detention facilities that prevented his immediate imprisonment. Within days, John and his closest friend successfully crossed the border into Austria. After a brief period of employment at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, John took a job as a translator on a ship carrying Hungarian refugees to Canada. He remained in Canada, where he spent several years in Calgary, Alberta, working at a private professional club and also as a ski instructor.
In 1966, John was recruited by William Fletcher, president of the board of directors at the Cedar Rapids Country Club, where he became its new general manager and chef. John spent the next 37 years of his life in unwavering service to the club and its members, bringing the highest standards of European elegance and cuisine to the U.S. Midwest.
John possessed an incomparable work ethic and a dedication to perfection in every aspect of his job. He passed these high standards on to all who worked with him, with the result that the CRCC became a beloved refuge of good grace and hospitality where refinement and attention to detail were the status quo.
As much as John cared about the club and its members, he had an abiding love and respect for all of the club's staff who he considered to be family. To John, there was no distinction. Every person was deserving of the utmost respect regardless of social status or economic circumstances. He took a personal interest in the cares and concerns of every person he worked with and always understood that the burdens of life were lighter when those burdens were shared.
John will be remembered by generations of CRCC members and staff as a man of principles who paired a dedication to duty with a genuine compassion for others.
John loved his adopted country and constantly would express his gratitude at having the opportunity to live and raise his family in "the greatest country in the world." He had lived in many places, but it was not until he moved to Cedar Rapids that he found his home.
John retired from the Cedar Rapids Country Club in 2002.
Despite the long hours he spent in service to the club, he found time to indulge his other passions. He could often be found at the tennis court or on the ski slopes, where he achieved the same levels of excellence he displayed in his work.
John also loved to travel and in his retirement, he treasured the opportunity to visit Paris, London and Vienna with his beloved daughter, Maya, and took special pride in introducing her to Budapest, his birthplace.
The family wishes to express its gratitude to all of the countless friends who enriched John's life throughout the years. Special thanks to the wonderful people at Hospice of Mercy for their care and support during his final days.
A celebration of John's life will be held Sunday, April 30, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Cedar Rapids Country Club, 550 27th Street Dr. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The family invites all club members and employees, past and present, and all others who were touched by John to come and celebrate a life well-lived. The family asks that those who will attend RSVP by calling the CRCC at 319-363-9673 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.