Russell Wendell FULGHAM

1924 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Russell Wendell FULGHAM

Passed away in his 90th year.

April 18, 1924 ~ December 17, 2013

The son of Fred and Jessie Fulgham, he was born in Santa Ana, CA and spent his early childhood in Oregon, moving to Grandview WA for high school. A childhood leg injury kept him from joining the military, despite extensive effort. During WWII, he served in the Civil Aeronautics Administration, monitoring the skies and relaying weather and other vital information to military and civilian pilots in the remotest areas of Alaska.

After the war, he attended WSU, receiving a BA in Sociology in 1949. He was active in college life, holding leadership positions within his fraternity (Alpha Kappa Lambda) and the college Y.M.C.A. Immediately after college he taught elementary school for two years, in Forks and Sunnyside. It was in college that he met Joan Marie Cunningham, who he married in 1953.

He and Joan lived in Central Washington where their first three daughters were born. Russ was employed as a case worker for the State Welfare Office. In 1961, they moved to Renton where their fourth daughter was born. Russ worked for the Social Security Administration in Seattle, Renton, and Bellevue from 1961 until his retirement in 1984.

He was a charter member of the Wesley Memorial Church of Yakima, then in 1961 became a member of Renton First United Methodist Church. As a member of the Renton Kiwanis, he chaired the 1974 Renton Air Fair. In retirement, he also volunteered with Special Olympics. For many years, his white beard and twinkling blue eyes were admired by children at his church and in the Renton area as the real Santa Claus. He was immensely proud of his heritage, tracing the Fulgham family linage to its start in America in 1643, always eager to share his genealogical writings and information with every other Fulgham, who would assuredly be a cousin.

Russ was predeceased by his beloved wife in 2007, and also by his parents and three siblings, Alberta, Lourene, and Edmond. He is survived by his youngest sister, Arlis Fulgham; four daughters: Christine Fulgham, Katie (Howard) Rossbach, Marcie (Tim) Greggs and Julie McNerney; Seven grandchildren: Carrie, Steffie, Angela, Lauren, Laine, Max, Audrey; four great-grandchildren: Kylie, Lilia, Anthony and Michelle; and a loving extended family.

The family wishes to thank his wonderful caregivers in his final three years, Jenny, Diana and Chip who treated him with compassion and respect; and Dr. Eric Seaver for his kindness and wisdom as a wonderful gentleman negotiated the perils of old age.

A Celebration of his life will be held in late January. Messages may be sent to the family at Remembrances to a .
Published in The Seattle Times on Dec. 29, 2013
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