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story.lead_photo.caption Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista Doug Fisher takes a look at an HVAC unit.

After meeting in high school and going their separate ways, Jewels Pelletier and Doug Fisher got back together roughly 30 years down the road.

The two met when they were 16, attending school in Michigan's upper peninsula.

"I guess I kind of knew she was the love of my life," Fisher said.

Fisher said that, after high school, he enlisted and joined the 32nd Army Air Defense Command, where he served eight years -- six of them in Germany. The other two, he said, were in Washington and not entirely pleasant.

He had to jog up Mount Rainier in heavy chemical gear regularly, he said.

After returning to civilian life, Fisher said he started in at a hardware store, where he worked alongside master electricians and plumbers, among others, which helped him learn all about houses.

Pelletier, by contrast, grew up working on homes. From a young age, her father, a home builder, brought her out on projects. She was only a few years old the first time she tacked down shingles, she said.

"My dad made us do everything," she said.

It was a natural transition, she said, into restoring homes and eventually starting a business, though that took a sideline when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After a tornado hit her Massachusetts street in 2011, Pelletier started using Facebook for the first time, primarily to let people know she was alright, but it had the side effect of getting her back in touch with Fisher, whom she hadn't seen since high school.

She was diagnosed shortly after, and Fisher came to visit and comfort her during the treatment.

Pelletier got through the treatment but wanted a change of scenery after a series of unpleasant experiences in Massachusetts. The now-couple looked at places across the country and eventually settled on Bella Vista.

Fisher said he was surprised Arkansas even came up, but he liked this city as soon as he saw it in person.

They got engaged earlier this year as they launched their business, a Pillar to Post Home Inspectors franchise. There's no wedding date just yet, though -- Pelletier explained that they're not planning to get married until the business is in the black.

This, she said, provides a good avenue for them to both contribute in their own ways. She organizes the business and handles logistics and PR while her future husband goes and inspects homes.

"He says I'm the brains and he's the eye candy," Pelletier said.

They've gotten along over the years, she explained, and she knew, going in, he has a good track record. Working with her spouse is easier than hiring a stranger, Pelletier said.

For Fisher, it's a fun job. He enjoys providing a valuable service for people making a major investment, he said, and he enjoys checking out houses and seeing how they're put together.

"I really enjoy inspecting houses," he said. "It's fun to see how these houses are built."

And of course, getting back together with his sweetheart has been a real joy, he said.

Pelletier said she agrees.

"It was nice to have my friend back," she said.

General News on 06/06/2018

Print Headline: High school sweethearts reunite, start business

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