Jennifer Fish Kashay, aged 49, passed away January 3rd, 2016 due to a heart attack. An associate professor of history at Colorado State University, she had resided in Fort Collins since 2005.
A devoted mother and wife, Jennifer was an active outdoors person who loved to hike, shoot, fish, and travel throughout her adopted home state of Colorado and farther afield. She and her children were frequent visitors to museums and historical sites and cemeteries across the country, reflecting both her professional and personal interests in history, museum studies, and culture. She is survived by her husband Jason Kashay, her son Cole and daughter Kaylee of Fort Collins, father Joel Fish and sister Laurie Fish of Hemet, Calif.
Jennifer was raised in Hemet, California and graduated from Hemet High School. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology and Museum Studies at California State University-San Bernadino in 1988, and an M.A. in Public History at University of California-Riverside in 1993. She worked at Kimberly Crest Historic House and Gardens in Redlands, California, and met her husband Jason Kashay while working at the San Bernadino County Museum.
After travels in Latin America, including work on an archaeological dig in Ecuador, she earned her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2002, where she specialized in U.S. history, particularly 18th and 19th century Hawaii. She began her career as an assistant professor of public history at Cal State San Bernadino from 2002-2005, until she took her position in U.S. and public history at CSU in 2005. While at CSU she was an active scholar and published a large number of significant articles on missionaries, religion, imperialism, foodways, culture, and gender in 18th and 19th century Hawaii in publications ranging from the Hawaiian Journal of History, The Journal of Presbyterian History, Food and Foodways: Explorations in the History and Culture of Human Nourishment, and the Pacific Historical Review. Her most recent publication was titled, “‘We will banish the polluted thing from our houses:’ Missionaries, Drinking, and Temperance in the Sandwich Islands,” in Paul Burlin and Cliff Putney, eds., The Role of the American Board in the World: Bicentennial Reflections on the Organization’s Missionary Work, 1810-2010, WIPF & Stock, 2012, 287-311.
Dr. Fish Kashay was an active member of the executive committee of the Western Association of Women Historians, and an active participant in Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Society for Church History, and the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. As a professor she taught multiple courses in public history, material culture, and United States history at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was a devoted mentor to multiple graduate students and a pillar of the graduate program in public history.
In lieu of flowers, at the suggestion of her son Cole, donations can be made to the Jennifer Fish Kashay Memorial fund in the CSU History Department. Click here to donate. Donations to assist the family can be mailed to the Jennifer Fish-Kashay Memorial at First Bank, 1013 East Harmony Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525.