Joyce Fisher of Brownwood figures everyone has a story to tell. Fisher had an unusual story to tell recently at Greenleaf Cemetery, where she joined others for the dedication of a slab that was recently put down by Heath Henry’s construction company, Cousin’s Painting and Remodel.
A $5,000 grant from the Beadel Foundation paid for the slab, which will be part of a tabernacle to be built later for graveside services.
When Steve Harris – president of the Greenleaf Cemetery Association Board of Directors – asked Fisher if she had any relatives buried at Greenleaf, Fisher said she didn’t know but added, “I was almost buried here,” Fisher said.
That was literally true, and Fisher explained her story.
In 1944, Fisher was about 5 months old when she became seriously ill with “some kind of infection,” Fisher said. She had a 108-degree fever for three days, and Brownwood doctors did everything they could think of treat the tiny girl.
“I wasn’t coming around,” Fisher recalled.
Doctors did not believe the girl would survive and told her parents to “get ready” for the girl to died. Her father, an Army MP stationed at Camp Bowie, and her mother, a housewife, left the hospital, went to Greenleaf Cemetery and bought a burial blot for their small daughter.
But a doctor decided to try one more treatment to save her. The treatment worked, and the little girl lived.
“They always told me I was special,” Fisher said of her parents.
Fisher joined others for a photo in front of the slab where the tabernacle, which will consist of just over 550 square feet, will be built. Cemetery employees planted a tree at the site, and Steve Puckett, treasurer of Keep Brownwood Beautiful, presented Henry with a check from the Beadel Foundation. Puckett is also a Greenleaf volunteer.
In 2017, Cary Perrin of Keep Brownwood Beautiful, which has partnered with Greenleaf, wrote the grant request to the Beadel Foundation.
Construction of the tabernacle and landscaping is expected to be about $30,000, and the Greenleaf board hopes to raise that money through donations and grants.
“I’m just happy to be a part of something good for the cemetery,” said Henry, whose company installed the slab at cost.