Maria Teresa Eldridge Fisher left this life on May 11, 2018. She lived in Newtown Square.
Maria was born in Pittsfield, Mass., on August 30, 1970, the first child of Joan Alice Tibbs Eldridge and Maurice G. Eldridge. Maria was a woman filled with love and joy, grace and beauty that she shared with an open heart with her family and her friends. From Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and beyond, she bonded with a network of friendship that blessed us all. She was a wonderful child, a wondrous parent, a giver and a warrior (think Wonder Woman) against fear and adversity.
Her first child, Francessca Maria Wallace, with her first husband Frank Wallace, is a delightful, creative and insightful 14-year-old who misses her and is filled with her spirit. Her second child, born of her second marriage to Robert Fisher, Natalia Maria Fisher, is a bundle of 4-year-old energy, who delights in her discoveries of this world, will miss her mother though she, too, is imbued with her spirit and energy.
Maria was educated in wonderful schools: Berkshire Country Day School in the Berkshires, Sidwell Friends School and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in D.C. She earned her B.A. at Smith College in Theater and Dance. While there she, like her Grandmother Alice and Aunt Daisy, became a proud life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.
After Smith she would then go on to earn her MFA in Acting at Brandeis University. She taught a semester there, offering a class in Movement for Theatre. She briefly pursued a career in acting in New York City performing off-Broadway before moving on to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals where she worked for five years and became a Human Resources and Clinical Data Operations Executive Assistant to the Vice President.
When she returned to Swarthmore, where her parents Maurice and Joan lived, she fell in love with early childhood education as she worked for several years at The School in Rose Valley and Trinity Cooperative Day Nursery. Working in those schools she blessed the lives of many young children and their families with love and energy and her belief in the power of the arts in the lives of all children. While she would also later serve at Trinity on the Board of Directors first as Vice President and then later as President, she largely focused on taking on the fulfilling roles of wife and mother. She suffused the lives of her children with her sterling model of the practice of giving nurture, direction, encouragement, inspiration and wisdom to her children, her family and her friends.
She left us too soon, but left us with the bounty of her beautiful self to sustain us in perpetuating her vision of a better, more just, loving and humane world.
Maria leaves to cherish her memory, her husband Robert and her two lovely daughters, Francessca, and Natalia; her father Maurice and his wife Patricia; her brother Jonathan, his wife Alicia and their children Jonathan II, Andrew and Michael; her Aunt Janice and her three children; her godmother Elaine and her god-sister, Elaine’s daughter Dawn; and many cousins, other family members, and friends from all of the walks of her life.
A Memorial Service for Maria will be held at Christ Church, 20 N. American Street (2nd and Market) Philadelphia, PA 19106 at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 19, followed by a Reception in the North Garden there (if raining, the Great Hall in the church’s Neighborhood House across the street).
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider supporting Maria’s Daughters’ Education Fund at www.gofundme.com/maria039s-daughters039-education-fund.