Obituary: Matilda “Tillie” Fischer

Matilda "Tillie" Fischer
Matilda "Tillie" Fischer
Provided Photo

June 22, 1932 – March 17, 2023

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Matilda (Tillie) was the youngest of two children of Frederick and Kathie Winterkamp. A graduate of the local high school, Tillie went on to attend THE Ohio State University in Columbus earning a degree in Personnel Management. During her time at OSU, Tillie was a member of three honorary societies, Chimes (Treasurer), Mortar Board and Mirrors. She was President of her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, while belonging to the Women’s Panhellenic Council and the Fraternity Managers Association. Tillie was part of the Student Senate and First Vice President and part of “The Big Three” that kept the wheels turning for the WSGA (The Women’s Self Government Association). Tillie was also Secretary for Strollers, a group that produced one-act plays on campus. (Regardless of her activities and successes on campus, it is safe to say that the highlight of her college career was Rolly.)

Tillie graduated with her bachelor’s and joined Proctor & Gamble on their marketing team. In 1955 she and Rolly married and headed to Parachute for one of the many booms in oil shale. Tillie taught 5th and 6th grade in Parachute before moving to Rifle where Tillie was the only woman on the oil shale job site. Several years later, she and Rolly moved to Littleton where children Katie and George were born. 1968 saw them return to the western slope to settle in Glenwood Springs, with Rolly as Secretary-Engineer of the Colorado River Water Conservation District. Tillie spent the next 19 years as a wife, mother and volunteer in Glenwood Springs.

Tillie was co-founder of the Glenwood Springs Barracuda Swim Team along with Don Vanderoof. Tillie ran and organized the annual Strawberry Days Swim & Dive Meet for 7 seasons before passing the baton. She was also a Brownie Troop leader, cookie chairman, Cub Scout and 4-H leader. And when not volunteering, Tillie grew and canned vegetables, cultivated roses and baked thousands of cookies for the holidays and participated in local theatrical productions. Tillie was passionate hiking and would often carry a book or two to help her identify wild flowers and birds. And for several ski seasons, Tillie was a volunteer lift operator at Ski Sunlight earning the family a free season pass.

In 1979, Tillie started a secretarial business coupled with temporary and permanent placements, named Office Services Unlimited. (The initials representing her and Rolly’s love for Ohio State University.) In 1981 OSU purchased the first fax machine and in 1988 the first color-laser copier for Glenwood Springs. In 1990, Tillie founded Payroll Principals, Inc., to meet the growing needs of the industrial and construction industries in the area. During Tillies ownership of both Office Services Unlimited and Payroll Principals, Tillie touched the lives of many through finding them either temporary or permanent employment or by offering career advice. Tillie also served as Chairman of the Board and Membership Chairman of the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce. Tillie also relished speaking with students in the local schools regarding the importance of preparation for the workplace while offering tips on how to succeed.

Tillie’s hard work and dedication to the community did not go unnoticed. Tillie was awarded The Athena Ward (1996), DECA Entrepreneur of the Year (1997), BBB Award for Marketplace Ethics (1999) and the lifetime achievement award of The Citizen of the Year (1998).

Later, Tillie sold her businesses and continued her focus of volunteering by serving on the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Chipeta Council. Her retirement allowed her to spend more time cultivating her flowers, baking cookies during the holidays while enjoying global travel with Rolly or a hike with the 100 Club.

Tillie is survived by her daughter, Katie Fischer Mosquera and son George Fischer along with grand daughters Elizabeth Katie Mosquera and Nicole Fischer, her sister-in-law Lucy Winterkamp along with various nieces and nephews – Karen Picciano, Judy White, Chrissy Winterkamp and Frederick Winterkamp.

A service honoring Tillie will be held Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 3 pm at Good Shepard Lutheran Church in Glenwood Springs. A reception will be held immediately following the service at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club in west Glenwood. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in the memory of Tillie to: Advocate Safe House Project. (Advocate Safe House Project, in care of Julie Olson, PO Box 2036 Glenwood Springs, CO 81602).

(In 2016, I returned to Glenwood Springs. Had I not come-back, I would not have seen first hand the love and respect that the community bestowed upon my parents over time. My folks loved “the village” – as labeled by my late husband – and I was fortunate to grow-up in such a wonderful community.

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