Laurel Heilman Fisher

August 08, 1925 ‒ November 12, 2016

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Laurel accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior when she was just 8 years old. She had a heart for others and fervently supported missionaries, shut-ins, and prisoners with letters, packages, and—most importantly—prayer. She used her natural teaching abilities in storytelling. Junior Church children waited spellbound for each week’s installment of her continued stories. Laurel made special connections with every child she met. She also shared her love of the Scriptures as a Sunday School and Bible study teacher.

Laurel went home to be with the Lord Saturday, November 12, 2016, surrounded by her family. She was 91 years old.

Laurel was born in Mansfield on August 8, 1925, to parents Donald R. & Jesse Margaret (Offerle) Williams. She graduated from Ontario High School and then the Mansfield General School of Nursing in 1947. Laurel worked as an RN for the hospital and later as a private duty nurse.

Voted Ohio’s Grandmother of the Year in 1996, she was very active in her grandchildren’s lives, including painting, playing games, and baking pies with them.  Her homemade apple sauce and potato soup were their favorites.

In her spare time, she took pleasure in gardening, sewing, and cooking. Even into her 90’s she was making quilts and dresses to aid in missions work. She enjoyed hosting dinners for family and friends, which ended with the table games she loved.

Laurel was actively involved with several area churches including First Alliance, Westwood Alliance, and New Liberty Church.

She is survived by children Joseph (Lana) Heilman of Seminole, FL, Barbara (Richard) Metcalf of Mansfield, Patricia Brewster of Mansfield, Kathleen Heilman of Mansfield, and Thomas (Jodi) Heilman of Pickerington; grandchildren Mike Nestich, Joey Horton, Cara Geib, Elizabeth Metcalf, Andrew Metcalf, Jared Krenrick, Chad Krenrick, Justin Heilman, Zachary Heilman, and Noah Heilman; great-grandchildren Josh, Corey, Elijah, Alexis, Chase, and Parker; a brother James K. Williams of Tuscon, AZ; lifelong precious friend Debbi Vitcusky Conrad of Mansfield, and extended family.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by husbands Harold Heilman in 1991, Dr. Wesley Lanker in 2001, and Russell Fisher in 2011; and a sister Jo Anna Halliday.

The family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. Tuesday November 15, 2016, in the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home (formerly Finefrock). A funeral service honoring her life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 16, 2016, Pastor Larry Hulver will officiate with music provided by pianist Dr. Randy Fagan and vocalist Chris Bailey, and burial will follow in Mansfield Memorial Park.

For contributions in her memory, make checks payable to Evangelism Resources and bring or send to the funeral home: P.O. Box 3085, Mansfield, Ohio 44904.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Laurel’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them—and watch her tribute video—at

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  • Laurel had a life-long impact on my life. She was the best story-teller during Children’s Church at Mansfield Alliance Church when I was a little (and rambunctious!) boy! She always had a smile and the love of Jesus just poured out through her! She will be missed down here, but welcomed to her eternal reward. Praise God, “we will meet again!”

  • Laurel loved singing hymns to praise her Lord, and I have fond memories of her joining our song services on Sunday evenings. A lovely lady whom I wish I could have know like her family and friends did. I’m thankful I got to know her in the past couple of years.

  • I don’t know anyone that could tell a story and keep kids spellbound like Laurel. Week after week, the best part of children’s church were the stories about Bible characters and mission adventures told to us by Mrs Heilman. She always had a beautiful smile and a sweet tilt of her head, along with sincere interest in talking about anything that was on your mind. Can’t wait to hear her stories in Heaven.

  • I remember Laurel always being apart of my life – as a child hearing her read exciting stories, encouraging me as a teenager and her faithful prayers and support of my family as missionaries. It meant a lot to us as a family to know we were her missionaries. She always went out of her way to see us when we were home on furlough, have us over to eat. When she lived across the street from my mom, we saw her when we stopped in town. Her prayers will really be missed. Thanks for sharing your mom with me.

  • Barb and Dick
    Sorry to hear of your mothers passing.
    Sorry we missed her service. I didn’t see her obit till thursday
    She was a very kind and caring person.

    Roger & Linda Ward

  • Your mom always took an interest in our work overseas. She wrote us letters, sent us gifts, and most importantly, faithfully prayed. She was an encouragement to us and I will always remember her greeting us with a huge smile on her face.

    Jon and Mary Mould