Dixie and Rufus Fisher have great advice for anyone interested in moving to Ardenwoods, “Don’t Wait!” After spending a little time with them, it’s clear that this loving couple shares a lifelong energy, love of family, and enthusiasm for travel. They made Ardenwoods their home over 13 years ago.
These two met at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY and found that they grew up just miles from each other in Gaston County, NC. By the time they met, Rufus had served in WWII in the infantry (European Theater) and graduated from Wake Forest College. Dixie graduated from Mars Hill College, Alabama College, and the Southern Baptist Seminary School of Religious Education.
Dixie grew up with two siblings and Rufus was the 8th of 12 children. In fact, at one time during WWII, Rufus and his six brothers were all in the service. “Service” is one of the many themes running through this couple’s life.
Rufus completed seminary and went to work in a boys’ school for juvenile delinquents and Dixie took a job as a social worker. After awhile, Rufus found his job was more social work than preaching and he went back to school to get a degree in social work from UNC. He then spent his long career in social work, serving as Director of Social Service at the Baptist Children’s Home in South Carolina and the Presbyterian Children’s Home in North Carolina.
The last 17 years of his career were spent at the Asheville VA Medical Center. Meanwhile, Dixie taught middle school students in Swannanoa and the couple raised two daughters and a son. Over the years their family has grown to include their children’s spouses, six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
Couple Started Major Travels in 1972
In 1972, they took their first big trip together. They traveled to England, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, and Italy over 21 days. Apparently, they enjoyed the trip, because they’ve now traveled to 35 countries and all 50 states.
Ask them about their favorite places and that’s when you get to hear about the world. Dixie traveled to India one summer as part of a Warren Wilson grant. For six weeks, this group of teachers toured schools and were immersed in the varied cultures of the country. They rode in rickshaws and used rupees. Dixie says it’s one country she would love to see again. Rufus was charmed by Morocco – that’s where he’d like to go again.
Traveling to Hawaii and Alaska
They’ve been to exotic places around the world – China, Scandinavia, Tahiti, Bora Bora. The food wasn’t great in Russia, but they still had a great time. Not all of their “exotic” travels were in other countries. On one trip to Hawaii they found Rufus’ brother’s name on a WWII memorial. His brother was a mine sweeper.
They’ve also been to Alaska, where they took a land tour through the Yukon hitting “every paved and unpaved road along the way.” A few notable scenes from Alaska? “Mt. Denali, the sun, and the giant cabbages!” Since giant cabbages were new to us, we had to look them up:
Dixie and Rufus don’t always travel alone. One of their favorite trips was when they took their whole family on a 10-day cruise to Key West. At the time, their youngest grandchild was two years old. Clearly they passed on the travel bug; a grandson recently traveled to Machu Picchu.
Even when this amazing couple is nearby, they find ways to take off and explore.
Read more about the travels of our residents here.