Jan. 17, 2007
Evelyn Elodie [Preston] Fiske
Evelyn is the eldest of nine children (two of whom died during infancy) born to Effie and Emmet Preston.
Evelyn was born January 9, 1913 in Merced. After attending primary school at Cottonwood and Oakvale, she headed off to Le Grand for high school. Why there and not Mariposa? Because no school bus yet served the Oakvale area. Her father taught Evelyn to drive before purchasing her a "little Lincoln car" for the daily commute between Jeff and Nancy Preston's (her grandparents) place near Cottonwood and Le Grand. During the next four years, Evelyn either did the daily drive or stayed with Emery and Ruby Preston (her uncle and aunt) in Le Grand.
After graduating in 1930, Evelyn relocated to Fresno and attended Fresno State College earning her undergraduate degree in 1934. Her next year was spent at U.C. Berkeley fulfilling requirements for a teaching credential.
With credential firmly in hand, Evelyn returned to Mariposa County to serve as an elementary school teacher first at Oakvale (1935-37) and then in Mariposa (1937-39). During the 1939-40 term Evelyn taught in Gardnerville (Mono County).
In 1940 Evelyn married Stanley Fiske (from another pioneer family who came west with the Converse, Dexter and Greeley families to settle in the Greeley Hill area of Mariposa County).
Evelyn's first high school teaching experience started in the fall of 1940 at Mariposa County High School. She took leave from teaching between 1941 and 1943 (her eldest son Bill was born in 1942). Then Stanley went to war, and Evelyn taught part-time (Spanish and History) while Mrs. Paul took care of Bill. Evelyn continued teaching through 1946. Her second son Emmett's arrival (1947) shifted Evelyn into the full-time "homemaker" category for the next decade (Evelyn would continue serving as a substitute teacher into the 1960s).
Evelyn was very involved in the life of the community and county. Until recent years, she was active in Native Daughters of the Golden West, the Women's Society of the United Methodist Church, and the Order of Eastern Star. During the 1960s and 1970s she also became one of the "regulars" at Luella Miller's Wednesday afternoon rug hooking class held at the Fairgrounds.
The Fairgrounds is a place near and dear to Evelyn's heart, given Stan's many years service as a Fair Board Director (1939-70). The barbecue area at the side of the livestock arena is named in his honor.
Although her accumulated years kept trying to tell her to "slow down!" Evelyn continued to remain active with her yard, her flowers, birds and family.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, William Stanley Fiske Jr.; two brothers: Ray Preston and Lauren (Todd) Preston and two sisters: Anita Leonard and Laverne Olive.
She is survived by a son, William Stanley (Bill) Fiske III and his wife, Helene of Fresno, CA; a son, Emmett Preston Fiske and his wife, Kathleen of Pullman, WA; a brother, Clinton (Dute) Preston and a sister, Beverly Pinkerton both of Raymond, CA.; Five grandchildren: Gregory W. Fiske and wife, Barbara; Jonathan M. Fiske and wife, Jan; Joel O. Fiske; Nicholas M. Fiske and Kevin D. Miller and wife, Christine; Four great grandchildren: Amanda, Jonah, Tobias and Charlotte. She also counts her many former students as part of her special extended family network.
A visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at Mariposa Funeral Home, located at 9th & Bullion in Mariposa. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January 18, 2007 at United Methodist Church, located at Bullion and 6th Street in Mariposa. The burial will follow at the Masonic Cemetery in Mariposa.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Mariposa Senior Center, located at, 5246 Spriggs Lane, Mariposa, CA. 95338; The Mariposa Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 106, Mariposa, CA. 95338; The Mariposa United Methodist Church (Building Fund), P.O. Box 248, Mariposa CA. 95338 or the donor's favorite charity.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mariposa Funeral Home in Mariposa.