Benny Fulgham 83 of Clovis, after a heart wrenching battle with Lou Gehrigs Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), passed away June 13, 2014, at his home. Benny was born June 27, 1930, in Clovis to Earl and Hazel Anderson Fulgham.|
Benny lived his entire life in Clovis. After high school, he went to work at the JA Ranch during the spring cattle branding season. The JA Ranch headquarters is located near Clarendon, Texas. He worked with the ranch wagon, camp cook, and horse wrangler to complete any daily jobs necessary for the working ranch cowboys. When his grandfather passed away, Benny returned to Clovis and worked as a truck driver hauling cattle and horses. He met Wilma Vaughan in early 1951, and they married in November. He and Wilma owned and operated the B&W Feed yards as well as B&W Trucking. He also, trained horses for roping and working cattle. For over thirty years, Benny was a Deputy Brand Inspector for the New Mexico Livestock Board. For many years, Benny hauled cattle all over the country. He was a perfectionist in all his endeavors to include branding cattle or hauling and dispatching cattle trucks. He always said, I would rather be thirty minutes early than five minutes late.
He was a member of the Curry County Mounted Patrol (CCMP) and served as the Rodeo Director for twenty years. He held every office in the Mounted Patrol to include Captain (President). He and several other members were responsible for the construction of CCMP) outdoor arena and grandstand built in 1971. He also, formed the Hat Roping Club with Jim Calvert, Ed Douglas, and Dewayne Ridley. As a Team Roper, Benny was well-known for his heeling ability. Because of his skill as a left-handed heeler, he roped with several RCA World Champions to include Carl Arnold, Gary Good, Tuffy Thompson, Walter Arnold, Arnold Felts, and BJ Pierce. He, also, roped with well-known cowboys: Dale Vaughan, Earl Monroe, Ed Douglas, Tex Garnett, Kenny Smith, Tom Whatley, Junior Vaughan, and Dillard Nuckols.
Benny and Dwayne Ridley roped and won several heading-heeling events with in NM, TX, and AZ. They were well-known for their good horses, Barney and Soupy. Benny's highest winning year was 1972 when he and Dwayne Ridley, as a team, won seven consecutive rodeos including the Pioneers Days Rodeo.
Benny's knowledge and facts of rodeo history made him a legend in the cowboy world. He could relate history and statistics about any rodeo event, how many championships a cowboy had won, and where the National Finals Rodeo was held each year. Benny's knowledge could be considered similar to the PRCA statistician, Curt Robinson. He was affectionately known as the "Mayor" of the stock yards and Joe's Boot Shop where Mary Alice asked, How is the Mayor doing? He contributed to the beginning careers of rodeo announcer Bob Tallman and others. He was well acquainted with many PRCA officials, several stock contractors such as Mike Cervi, and rodeo acts Leon Coffee and One-armed Bandit, John Payne. He was a member of Central Baptist Church and the Clovis Elks Lodge.
Benny is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, his son Jerry Fulgham of Clovis, NM, his son and daughter-in-law Larry and Vicki Fulgham of Stigler, OK. He is also survived by a "special sister" to Jerry and Larry, Joy Batts of Hobbs, NM, his sister-in-law Jody Fulgham, and nephew Johnny Fulgham.
He is preceded in death by his parents, two children: son, Garry Fulgham and daughter Patricia Kay Fulgham, four brother's Carl Fulgham, Hookey Fulgham, JW Fulgham, and George "Tick" Fulgham.
A tribute service is planned for Thursday June 19, 2014, at 7 P.M. at the Curry County Events Center. A Celebration of Life service is scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2014,at 1 P.M. at Central Baptist Church, 2501 N. Norris in Clovis. Pastor Alan McAlister, Rev. Dick Ross, and Jim Kelly are officiating.
Burial will follow at Mission Garden of Memories. Pallbearers are Rusty Ridley, Dwayne Ridley, Mark Smith, Tom Mackechnie, Ashley Davis, B.J. Pierce, Dale Vaughan, Ed Douglas, Richard Hadley, and Travis Nuckols. Honorary Pallbearers are his many friends in the cattle and trucking business as well as all the friends he made throughout his roping and rodeo career.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Central Baptist Church Rodeo Contestant Hospitality Ministry, The ALS Research Organization alsanm.org, the NM Baptist Children's Home, The New Mexico Christian Children's Home, or Curry County Events Center Covered Horse Stalls (CCEC Covered Horse Stalls) account at the Security State Bank, Farwell, Texas.
We would like to express a heartfelt Thank You to the Clovis Cardiology Associates, Dr. Brian Willmon, Dr. Ahmed Sabouni-neurologist, Interim Health Care and Hospice, Central Baptist Church, Dan Pearce and the prayer group of the EBA, and all our friends and family who have supported us through this long journey.
Arrangements are entrusted to Muffley Funeral Home www.muffleyfuneralhome.com (575) 762-4435
Published in the Clovis News Journal on June 18, 2014