Almanac

News - July 27, 2011

Memorial service for Cate Fisher, 19

A memorial service for Catherine (Cate) Fisher, 19, of Menlo Park, who died after being shot in East Palo Alto, was held Friday, July 22, at Temple Beth-El in San Mateo.

A reception followed at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center in Menlo Park.

A college student who had planned to be a high school math teacher, Ms. Fisher was an instructor at the Menlo Park gymnastics center.

She was shot July 13 while sitting in a vehicle with a man and a woman at 2:12 a.m. in the 2500 block of Annapolis Street east of Bay Road in East Palo Alto, police said.

She was taken to Stanford Hospital where she died from her injuries. The vehicle's other occupants were unharmed, police said.

A question surrounding her death is why she was at the site of the shooting at 2 a.m.

Her father, Jonathan Fisher, said July 21 that he has been told by the girl who was driving the car, Cate's best friend, that they were just dropping off a "third person, some guy" when the incident happened. "Cate was not into drugs at all," said her father, who wished to dispel rumors that this might have been the reason she was there.

Wanted to teach math

Cate Fisher graduated in 2009 from Menlo-Atherton High School and from the Canada College "middle college" program that allows students to earn college credits while getting a high school diploma, her father said. She had just transferred to Cal State East Bay and needed another year and a half to graduate. "She was going to teach math to high school students," he said.

The young woman also loved teaching gymnastics for the city of Menlo Park, her father said.

"She was such an amazing person," he said. A memorial notice "doesn't really capture the great essence that was Cate. She was beautiful, vibrant, strong-willed, hard-headed."

Pearce Wagner, her supervisor at the gymnastics center, said she started working there in the 2008-09 school year, while she was still in high school.

"She was a hard worker and a great employee," he said. "She worked well with the children, who all loved her. She was always willing to help; I could call her up and she'd always be there with a smile on her face."

Gymnastics program staff ask that people write memories or condolences in a book for Cate's family at the front desk of the gymnastics center.

In addition to her father, Jonathan Fisher of Belmont, she is survived by her mother, Michelle Sutton of Menlo Park, step-parents Paula Fisher and Mitch Sutton, and four siblings.

The family prefers memorial contributions to Susan G. Komen for the Cure or by becoming an organ donors.

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