Former Boy Scout leader doesn’t ‘cash-in’ on found money

Posted by Lucy Luginbill on July 6, 2014 

Joe Fisher, retired District Manager of Boy Scouts of America, illustrates how he stumbles upon lost money.


You won’t find this guy on a list of the rich and famous, nor will his lifestyle be the subject of a television series. Even so, this “money magnet” is famous in his unique way.

Meet Joe Fisher, recently of Richland, who stumbles across money like most of us trip on a crack in the sidewalk – even when we’re looking. This former Boy Scout leader is not.

“I was kind of bored and I got out of the car and walked about 20 feet,” Joe recalls about a spontaneous highway stop while his wife answered her cellphone. “And there was a man’s tan wallet with the driver’s license and a bunch of his credit cards.”

Not one to let a good deed pass him by – and since they were headed in the direction of Boardman, where the owner lived – he and Liz made a detour. But what this retiree will tell you, finding the money is the easy part.

“When you want to return something, it’s the hardest thing to do,” Joe says shaking his head, remembering how he tried to get the money back to the folks who lost it.

With wallet in hand, Joe had knocked on the duplex door, walked until he located a nearby neighbor and then finally left the wallet tucked inside a child’s stroller parked on the front lawn. It’s a pattern of lost, found – and try to return – that follows him.

“There’s a little red purse lying on the ground,” the 71-year-old says about another find at the Richland Wal-Mart. “Inside is a Costco card and $80 in cash.”

Off Joe went to the local store where he left a message. A week passed. No word. He put the money in the bank where it could earn interest for the missing owner. Finally he drove to Prosser, but the apartment office was closed.

It seemed to be a dead-end.

Joe was richer by almost a hundred dollars, but he wouldn’t give up in spite of weeks passing. Back to Costco he went, left a second message and waited. Several days later he got the call.

“I put the money back into her purse,” Joe remembers how he’d retrieved the cash from the bank. “I took it over there and was told she’s out to lunch, so I asked where her desk was and left it there.” No one knows the man’s name that returned the wallet or the red purse. Nor does anyone remember who found the birthday card with $100 in a Eugene, parking lot on another occasion – and then placed it in the care of the nearby restaurant.

But this “regular Joe” doesn’t do what he does for the honor or glory.

“I still practice honesty in the ten lines of the code,” reflects the career Boy Scouts of America District Executive about his chosen lifestyle.

But even though Joe Fisher may not be monetarily wealthy, he is very rich in character. The man really should be famous. If you have a story idea for Light Notes, email Follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyLuginbill

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