Long-time Belvedere resident A. Robert Fisher, known as Bob to his friends, passed away peacefully on March 1, 2020, at age 89. He was beloved by those who knew him as a cherished father, grandfather, uncle, generous friend, distinguished architect, talented painter and print-maker, formidable competitor on the water, and enthusiastic golfer.
Bob was born in Stockton, Calif., in 1930 to Alfred and Lavelle Wheeler Fisher. The family moved to Sacramento in the late 1930s and Bob graduated from McClatchy High School. He attended college at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture with highest honors in 1952 and winning several design awards. The following year, he worked as a teaching assistant while completing his master’s in architecture and studied painting and print-making, developing his talent as an abstract expressionist artist.
After graduation, Bob joined a large architectural firm in San Francisco, but kept in touch with a number of his former students, including Rodney Friedman, also of Belvedere. Rodney’s childhood neighbor Saloma Applegate came to visit Rodney in Berkeley, and Rodney introduced Saloma to Bob. Bob and Saloma were married in December of 1955 and remained inseparable for the next 64 years.
In 1962, Bob started his own architectural firm and joined forces in 1964 with Rodney Friedman to form Fisher-Friedman Associates, an architectural, design, and urban planning firm located in San Francisco. By 1978, when Bob was made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the firm had become internationally recognized for design excellence in multi-family housing, winning many awards for developments in the Bay Area and beyond. Several projects are located in Marin County, including the one best known to Tiburon Peninsula residents, Point Tiburon. While the firm is known for contributions to residential architecture, they also designed university housing and public-sector buildings, including the Chabot Space and Science Center and the Emeryville City Hall.
Bob bought his sailboat in 1965, a Knarr that he named Lykken (Danish for “luck”). He and Saloma found that the drive from Burlingame to Belvedere took away from valuable sailing time, so they moved to Belvedere in 1966, joining the San Francisco Yacht Club in 1967. Bob raced Lykken for more than 30 years, serving as admiral of the fleet in 1971 and winning the season championship in 1987, 1988, and 1991. At the end of the 1990s he gave up sailboat racing and switched to golf, pursuing it with equal passion. While making art was a lifetime interest, he found new inspiration after retiring from Fisher-Friedman in 1999, creating some of his most vibrant pieces in his Napa studio.
A. Robert Fisher leaves behind his beloved wife, Saloma; sons Gary Fisher (Alex Zaphiris) and Rick Fisher (Debbie); eight grandchildren; and a legion of devoted nieces, nephews, and friends. A celebration of his life will be planned once large gatherings can safely be held.