Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Edward Fishback

Property appraiser Edward Fishback valued simple, enduring pleasures

TAMPA — Edward Fishback lived on the strength of his judgment.

Realtors and developers relied on the self-employed property appraiser to make a fair and accurate call. So did his wife and eight children.

Mr. Fishback usually made it home for dinner, then continued his paperwork with one eye on the television. When the work could wait, he practiced the several musical instruments he played.

Mr. Fishback died Aug. 31, of kidney failure. He was 85.

"If you knew him, he was pretty serious and hardworking," said his son, Mike Fishback, who is a marriage and family therapist. "But at the same time he loved music. So there is kind of that dichotomy."

Mr. Fishback was born in Bloomington, Ind., and later lived in Indianapolis. He played the clarinet and saxophone growing up. He served in the Army during the Korean War, then earned a degree at Indiana University.

He hitchhiked out of town weekends to see Barbara White, a nursing student who eventually agreed to marry him. Without prompting, he grew interested in her Catholic faith and converted from his Protestant upbringing.

About 50 years ago, tired of cold weather, Mr. Fishback took his family to Tampa. He worked for other appraisers before starting his own firm in the early 1980s.

Mr. Fishback never compromised his judgment, his son said.

"In his kind of business, it's very easy to fudge the numbers and make more money for yourself," said Mike Fishback, 60. "He would never do that. For many years, we lived paycheck to paycheck. He'd rather work more hours and do more jobs."

He retired around age 70. After a lifetime of working seven-day weeks, he traveled more. He played with the Gulfport Senior Citizens Harmonica Club, performing the national anthem twice before Rays games and with the Florida Orchestra.

"When he played, there was not a missing note, and he would play at the right time," said harmonica group member Leo Perry.

He lavished attention on Lulu, a Shih Tzu mix.

Along with those enjoyments and a close family life, Mr. Fishback struggled with weak kidneys. Dialysis was making him "miserable," his son said.

He responded to those challenges as he always had: with calm calculation. "He was satisfied with his life," his son said. "He was satisfied with what he had done, and with his family."

Mr. Fishback ended dialysis in late August. He said goodbye to each family member, including the dog. He died 11 days after quitting dialysis.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at or (727) 892-2248.

. Biography

Edward Lawrence Fishback

Born: Feb. 1, 1927

Died: Aug. 31, 2012

Survivors: wife, Barbara; sons Mike, Pat, Larry and Joe Fishback; daughters Cathy Wennlund, Julie Hahn, Jen Dyke and Becky Cowden; brothers Bill and Dick Fishback; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren.

Property appraiser Edward Fishback valued simple, enduring pleasures 09/12/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 11:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jameis Winston, Feeding Tampa Bay to provide groceries to families hit by Hurricane Irma


    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, Feeding Tampa Bay and the nonprofit Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa will distribute food and gift cards Tuesday to an estimated 400 families who suffered power outages and lost food after Hurricane Irma.

    Tampa Bay Bucaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, center, in green shirt, serves a meal at a disaster assistance registration center in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. Winston has purchased 400 $25 gift cards from Publix and is scheduled to present some of them to families who lost groceries after Hurricane Irma from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa at 1907 E Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa. LARA CERRI   |   Times
  2. Hot, isolated, and running out of supplies, parts of Puerto Rico near desperation


    JUNCOS, PUERTO RICO — In the heat and humidity here in the central mountains, Meryanne Aldea fanned her bedridden mother with a piece of cardboard Sunday as the ailing woman lay on her side, relieving a large ulcer in her back.

    A man walks from Juncos in search of gasoline. The mountain town is one of the most affected by Hurricane Maria's pass through Puerto Rico. [Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo | Washington Post]
  3. President Donald Trump during a rally in Huntsville, Ala., Sept. 22, 2017. Trump called for football fans to boycott NFL games unless the league fires or suspends players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: Worst-Case (Keenum) scenario


    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis in their latest podcast.

    Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) scrambles away from Bucs defensive end William Gholston (92) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Tonight: Hear ideas for remaking downtown Tampa interchange


    TAMPA — New concepts for rebuilding the downtown interchange will be discussed at a Florida Department of Transportation community meeting Monday night.

    The Florida Department of Transportation renamed its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan is now known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. [Florida Department of Transportation]