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Fischer makes local history as highest ranked officer

Fischer makes local history as highest ranked officer Fischer makes local history as highest ranked officer

Cornell’s Cemetery is home to about 400 veterans who lie entombed in the small parcel of land across from the Chippewa River. As part of its storied history, former Cornell resident Mary (Flood) Carlson has discovered yet another gem the cemetery can boast of.

Buried in Cornell, is Victoria Mary (Kotryck) Fischer, the highest ranking commissioned officer in the cemetery. With help from her husband, Doug, and friend/fellow cemetery enthusiast Martin Zais, Mary embarked on a journey to discover Victoria’s story.

“This came up when I asked Martin in March, if he would do me a favor to look for flag holders for new veteran burials,” said Mary. “He included the Victoria stone and mentioned she was the highest ranking commissioned officer of any veteran there.”

Victoria was born Sept. 26, 1904, in Stanley, but according to Mary’s research, Victoria’s parents were born in Russia. After graduating from the Milwaukee County School of Nursing, Victoria spent 20 years as an army nurse.

She was even in a field hospital in World War II, behind Gen. George Patton. When she retired in 1964, Victoria held the rank of major.

“As Martin said, ‘She must have a very interesting story,’” said Mary. “The American Legion Post she belonged to is the Jane Delano Post (408), only open to military nurses.”

Victoria also managed to have a personal life in amongst her Army nursing career, marrying Joseph J. Fischer in July of 1930. The couple had sons, James, and William (who passed away in infancy), and daughter, Joan (who died as a toddler).

Living to the age of 93, Victoria died of natural causes in Illinois, Nov. 26, 1997.

The quest for more knowledge of Victoria also took on a personal note, as Mary makes mention of Victoria’s brother, John, and sister- in-law, Laura.

“They are buried right next to Victoria,” said Mary. “They were longtime residents of Cornell, and my family knew them well.”

Although there is much that is not known about Victoria and her life, through their research, Mary, Doug and Martin uncovered a piece of history for the Cornell Cemetery.

“It’s one of those Julia Brunet hunts,” said Mary. “So much fun.”