April Marie Downing/Fisher
7/12/73 to 11/12/16
April was born in Arcadia Calif. 0n July 12, 1973. Right from the beginning she was a handful. She had severe colic for her first 3 months and neither her or her parents got much sleep during this time. At the age of 3 her family moved to Capistrano Beach, CA.
There she grew up attending Palisades Elementary School, then Shorecliffs Middle School and on to San Clemente High School. During her school years she was quite the athlete playing Soccer and Softball. She played on the San Clemente high school soccer team all through high school. After graduating she decided to become a dental assistant and went to trade school to learn her craft. She became a registered dental assistant (R.D.A) and loved what she did.
In 1996 she met the love of her life Warren ‘CLUNY’ Fisher. They were married in 1999. In 2001 they had their son Riley Fisher and from that day forward she devoted her life to her son and husband. They had 15 years together to build the wonderful life they shared.
She is survived by her husband Cluny, her son Riley, her parents Dave and Joanne Downing, and brother Joshua Downing.
My Eulogy for April
Hi, I’m Erini Redmond. I’m the lucky dentist in town who had the privilege of working with her as my assistant these past 10 years. But she was so much more than an assistant, more than my back office manager, she was a genuine friend, loving wife, exceptional mother, compassionate caregiver, oh..and dentist, that’s right I said dentist. This woman had so much confidence and with her take charge attitude we fondly referred to her as Dr. April and she’d always say, ‘Oh stop’. I’ll just say it was a good thing she wasn’t a competitor or I would have gone out of business.
What I didn’t realize when I hired April was what an impact she’d have not only on my life, but my practice, our patients lives, my staff and honestly anyone she came in contact with. It is my belief that April wanted to make a difference in the people’s lives she touched and I’m here to tell you she did. To know April was to be a believer. She had so much passion and conviction when she talked you’d become a believer in whatever the topic was. You’d want to go to the restaurant she talked up & have the meal she raved about or change your insurance plan to the one she had gotten for her family or see that Health & Wellness doctor that was changing her life. When she believed in something or someone it was compelling to listen to her.
She was equally as passionate about our patients, the dental practice and our community. You can imagine over a 10 year period we shared a lot, family stories and our faith, we were connected. There are so many things that I am grateful for about April because she wore so many hats at my office. She handled all of our product ordering, the office equipment maintenance, any equipment failures she was our repair girl and if she couldn’t do it she had someone there in a minute. She answered patients’ questions if I wasn’t available. I don’t even know when she found time to research and come to me with the latest in technology and dental products. Of course it would follow with, “You should do this or you should get that”. She helped with Social Media and fundraising. She was invested, but most importantly she truly cared about people & they knew it. She had an aura about her that was so comforting to people. Even when it was their first time meeting her they felt as though they were with an old friend. She’d make recommendations with such a true heart they knew they were in good hands. The conversations she and I would have about our patients were endless and so healthy. By healthy, I mean I knew I had the right girl by my side. From the beginning, she could anticipate my next move when we were caring for our patients, always one step ahead of me and conscientious throughout. Patients would complement how harmonious we were. It was like a marriage and I would joke and say, “Yeah she’s a keeper..she completes me.” And she’d say “oh jeez”. I think that’s why our patients adored her, just like I did. She was the real deal. No bullshit, just tell like it is. Okay that’s the way she’d say it. But seriously that’s why patients brought her gifts, offered their vacation homes to her and endless emotional and financial support once they knew she wasn’t doing well. Countless posts and I can’t go without mentioning her boyfriend, not really Cluny. We just called him that because almost every time he came to get his teeth cleaned he always had a comment about her. Our favorite was when he openly said, ‘The only reason I come here is because I’m in love with April.’ April would roll her eyes, blush and say, “Oh stop”. She was truly a big part of our dental family, as corny as that may sound, patients confided in her. And with everything she had been through, this strong woman rarely talked about her cancer unless it was in a positive light. The only times she talked in great depth about it was when she was relating to one of our patients that was going through cancer or had gone through it. She elevated them to a better place, totally identifying with what they had been through and sharing whatever knowledge and experience she had gained herself and would then enlighten them and encourage them. Her focus was, as always, on the patient and not her. Wow, to think she was diagnosed with Melanoma in 2007, Breast Cancer in 2011, Ovarian Cancer in 2015 and finally Brain Cancer and yet she was always going strong. In all those years of treating patients we really never skipped a beat. Well, let me rephrase, SHE never let us skip a beat. She was a force to be reckoned with, sometimes she talked so fast I had to ask her to repeat what she said. Our conversations were endless and so was the laughter. I can still hear her in my head even now, like right now! She’s saying, you need to do this and be strong. Other times in support of implementing something new it would be, “you CAN do this” and then other times it would be… “Just do it, trust me your patients will love you for it.” All of those moments bring a smile to my face, she was right and her loyalty to the practice and devotion to me will forever warm my heart.
April was devoted to her job but if we were done, at 5:01 she was out that door to get home to her family. She couldn’t get home fast enough to her husband, Cluny & son, Riley. God she loved you guys. Every time she spoke of you it was positive. She always raved about her weekends with you guys. They were “the bomb” she’d say. She went on and on about your camping trips, the concerts, the fairs, your vacations, Riley’s birthday parties she planned and always praising Cluny for all the online research he would do for her. She loved you Riley even when you tested her as every teenage boy does but she was always so proud of you. She loved you both unequivocally.
It is truly remarkable what a strong and beautiful woman April was to have fought cancer and to do it so positively, never once did I hear her say, “why me”. When my husband was diagnosed with Cancer, her positive energy shifted to us. This is when Dr. April was once again on the scene. Whatever wisdom and strength she could impart to us she did and when I was down she came to my side and said, “You need to listen to the Rascal Flats song “Stand” right now, play it really loud and let it in! It has saved me many times. I used to listen to it every day driving myself to radiation, it’s powerful.” But April is what was powerful. This woman was a gift.
Even when I recently came to see her at the hospital, she still was a force to be reckoned with. I walked in the room, unable to stop myself I hugged her & said that I loved her and how grateful I was for everything she had brought to my office. And she stopped me in my tracks and said, brought??? I’m still bringin’ it! I walked out of that hospital a believer with only optimism in my heart that she was coming back to me, to us.
I’ve always told my children to count their blessings. April was my blessing I could never be more grateful for. If we could all aspire to live our lives the way she did, we’d be better off. I know I would. For her to have gone through what she did and be so positive throughout her life is inspiring. I know she’s in heaven because she was such an exceptional person. Like the song she recommended, just take a STAND & make a difference. She did in the lives of so many & for me as well. I will be eternally grateful to April for making me a better person just by knowing her. I’m going to leave you with the song she recommended to me, I think she’d tell you to play it anytime you’re confronted with a challenge in your life and take a STAND. It’s so April!
She truly was “the bomb”. I am going to miss her terribly but I know she’s in a better place.