Remembering Ernestine Fischer

A message from PSI Co-Founder Jane C. Willhite

Dear Graduates,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you all know of the passing of our beloved Ernestine Fischer.

She attended the Life Success Course in 1975 and discovered her calling to a lifetime of trailblazing leadership from the heart. For many years, Ernestine touched the lives of people as an instructor at every Life Success Course, Women’s Leadership Seminar, and even Teen Experience.

She continued her contribution as the Director of Instruction for PSI Seminars and as the Vice President of PSI World, where she worked on philanthropic projects including Camp Choice. She led the way as a strong, black, female executive and held her own in an era where the plague of prejudice was rampant.

Ernestine retired from teaching in 2007 but remained an integral part of the organization. She leaves a lasting legacy as an excellent instructor who loved people where they were but loved them enough to hold them accountable and push them toward their highest potential.

I’ve invited some members of our team to share what Ernestine meant to them:

Jenessa Willhite Meyers: I will be forever grateful for all of her guidance and support. Her love and mentorship changed my life. Her unconditional acceptance of people for who they were, where they were paired with her fathomless belief in their unlimited potential was the embodiment of world peace one mind at a time.

Kathy Quinlan-Perez: I stayed at her house and practiced material for WLS one weekend. She pushed me so hard to be my best, Carole Santucci would call around the clock and ask, “is she STILL there practicing?”” She is the only person I ever knew who could have a smile and be yelling at me (while that smile was telling me I was enough).

Carson Johns: Ernestine was the only person I’ve ever known who could silence a room, evoke intense emotional responses and display the highest levels of empathy, without ever saying a single word. She had incredible power and used it for the greatest good, humanity.

Shellie Hunt: She was a master of emotional intelligence and one of the most incredible mentors I was lucky enough to have for over 20 years. Not only did I grow personally under her guidance, but I expanded my love and understanding for people and humankind.

Courtland Warren: Ernestine was fondly referred to by some as “the Oracle”. Her special gift however was that she understood that her magic was not hers to keep, but rather to share. By some accounts, her greatest gift to humanity was her ability to see the truth of all human beings, that we are capable of more than we give ourselves credit for.

Janice Takemoto-Gentile: Ernestine had me shaking in my boots while opening my heart to new depths. A gift that she gave me once was a sculpture of a group of women holding hands in a circle. I loved being a part of her circle, the women of change.

Courtney Hoch: Ernestine was an authentic force of love, care, compassion, and power. However, it was in those quiet one on ones she would say just the thing you needed to hear in that moment. That is when she was at her finest.

She impacted all of our lives as a friend, mentor, confidant, coach, and leader. May her spirit live on in all of us that she touched.

Blessings to you all,
JC Willhite

“You give but little when you give of your possessions, it is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~


  1. Kelly Poulos

    We stand on her shoulders….A true visionary and Pioneer….
    AND funny as hell!

  2. Ali Orci

    Ernestine was such an amazing woman. Truly a force of nature. I love how she could look into your eyes and see directly into your soul. I never felt so raw and loved at the same time as standing in front of her. I experienced that both at PSI 7 and WLS. What a blessing!

  3. Susan Kaneshiro

    This beautiful soul changed my life forever. Doing PSI V in Honolulu with her as the instructor gave me insight and left me in a better place for the years to come. She was an amazing leader and sister. Soar high my friend.

  4. Kimberly Coleman

    Saddened to hear of the passing of Ernestine Fischer. I met this amazing woman at Psi-7 & WLS in 1998. She would go on to become my mentor and stand up for me in my wedding almost 23 years ago. My hubby, also a 98’ Psi7/MLS grad and I learned so much from Ernestine. Although we lost touch over the years. Her influence remained strong. I know that we are empowered people because of her lessons/teachings. We are forever grateful to Jane Wilhite and the entire staff that we learned so much from over the years we participated with Psi. I still tell people about how much this work changed our lives for the better. Thank you to the Queen Ernestine! Fly high Queenspiration, your spirit is eternal as is your love for your fellow humans. We love you, Kimberly & Nick

  5. Bobbi and Ron Newman

    And now there is the pure light of an Angel named Ernestine soaring with The Eagles. God Bless and guide your journey, Ms. Ernestine 😇🦅

  6. Steven Leong

    I remember driving Ernestine from her hotel to PSI 5 classes in Hawaii. I marvaled at how she instructed with “hard love” during the seminar hours, and knew how to leave it behind once she walked out the door. One morning we made a side stop at the International Market Place to look at a pants suit that she was interested in getting, and wanted my opinion on it. Another time we went searching for Teri chicken at 1 AM in the morning. I will miss this beautiful woman dearly.

  7. Adrienne King

    I loved her…she was so much fun! Full of warmth and wisdom and mischief! Love you Earnestine!!!

  8. Carol Mayo

    I did not meet Ernestine. However, I did listen to the tape that was given to us after PSI 7. And I listened to it again and again and again.
    Very powerful indeed. So blessed to have completed all the life experience courses and the last 3 Principia seminars. Amazing leaders, xoxo Thank you

  9. Ron Morgan

    Ernestine co-lead my PSI 7 33 years ago, her willingness to love and challenge my ‘stories’ and choose an authentic path forward set in motion the life of love and success I continue on today! She will not be forgotten….

  10. Elizabeth Cabalka Bayer

    Her mark is visible in my life today. There are moments * regularly * when I hear her voice. In business, in my family and in the world, she travels with me.

    ~ Elizabeth
    PSI7 grad (2000), WLS C73 grad, Principia 2002 & 2003

  11. Sharon Bair

    I house sat for Ernestine in the early ‘80s when I was the receptionist for Corporate in Larkspur. She never judged me when I’d pick her up at the airport in my ‘67 VW Bug that often required popping the clutch to get it running. And she blessed my marriage to John, whom I met through PSI World, by saying, “Can you afford to live without him?” He died suddenly in 2007 after 23 years of marriage. I like to think they’ve met up now, wherever they are, sharing stories about how they spent their lives on earth thinking to create.

  12. Betty Vander Linden

    I am so deeply grateful to have had Ms. Ernestine as an instructor for my PSI 7 and WLS classes. True love is eternal, thank you Ernestine! Condolences to her Family.

  13. Randall Vancil

    She was also known to occasionally make a sneak appearance (in the background) at the men’s leadership seminar. We loved her with all our heart!

  14. Elaine Solzano Hamrick

    My heart is filled with special moments when I had the privilege of having Ernestine in my life. Eternally grateful for you! RIP

  15. Rocki Roccatani

    Ernestine had me in tears and laughter while I was feeling like less then nothing. And inspired me to know the Truth that I was worth Everything. I know she will continue inspiring on the next stage. You go girl. Love ya a million times infinity!

  16. Paul Nakai

    News of Ernestine’s passing brought back many fond memories of working alongside her, learning from her and enjoying her friendship. My wife, Nancy, and I both share a sense of loss this morning.

    • Donna Hurley

      Many thanks to Ernestine for sharing being open to life lessons. Happy memories of her sharing a cup of Postum during a break.


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