William R. Fuller, 92
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William R. Fuller, 92, of West Lafayette, died at home on 1/7/2013.
Dr. Fuller was born October 27, 1920 in Indianapolis, IN, to Cyrus H. and Gladys B. Whelan Fuller. He married his beloved wife Louella (Lou) Meyers Peterson, April 23, 1943 in Indianapolis, IN. She survives.
A native of Indianapolis, Fuller attended Broad Ripple High School from which he graduated in 1939. He enlisted in the Army in August, 1942, and, after brief training in an Artillery unit, was assigned to Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, OK, graduating as a Second Lieutenant in April, 1943.
Following OCS, Fuller served in Battery A, 113th Field Artillery Battalion of the 30th Infantry Division for the rest of the war, including eleven months of combat (Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe) in Northern Europe. He received the Bronze Star Medal. His Battalion was awarded the Belgian Fourregere and the French Croix de Guerre.
After the War, Fuller enrolled at Butler University in January, 1946, on the GI Bill of Rights and graduated, magna cum laude, in August, 1948. He holds the Master's and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University, earned respectively in 1951 and 1957.
Fuller taught at Butler for one year (1948-1949) and worked for the Navy's Bureau of Ordnance in Indianapolis for three years during the Korean War. Most of his professional life was spent as Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University in West Lafayette. In addition to teaching, he served as Head of the Mathematics Department, Associate Dean of the School of Science, and Chancellor of Purdue's campus at Michigan City. Fuller served two three-year terms on the University Senate during one of which, as Chair of the Educational Policy Committee, he led the change of the Academic Calendar to the current early start, avoiding the post-Christmas "lame duck" session. He was named Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 1991.
Fuller was an active volunteer. He headed the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors for seven years during the 1970s during which time he led the Board in bringing resident Conductor Eduardo Ostergren to Lafayette. He was also active internationally through the Partners of the Americas, in which Indiana is partnered with the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul. He served as President of this group for five years and "behind the scenes" worker for more than 20 years. He served two three-year terms on the International Board of the organization. He was a member and President (1990-91) of the Lafayette Rotary Club and chaired the committee which established the Lafayette Daybreak chapter of that organization. Fuller was a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America for over 50 years.
In addition to the Bronze Star, Fuller received the U.S. Navy's Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1955, the Amoco Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1976, the Sagamore of the Wabash in 1982, and the Medalho do Gaúcho Award from the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in 1990; in April, 1999, he was in the first group inducted into Purdue's Book of Great Teachers and was awarded the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, in ceremonies at Purdue's North Central campus in May 2000. The Lafayette Rotary Club named him Rotarian of the year for 2009-2010.
Dr. Fuller was a pioneer in the use of televised instruction of mathematics. Also, with a colleague, he presented a thirteen-week series, It's All In Your Mind, concerning mathematical topics, on TV Station WFBM in Indianapolis. Early, recognizing the importance of emerging computers, Fuller introduced computer-oriented mathematics courses at Purdue in 1969 and authored a book FORTRAN Programming, A Supplement for Calculus Courses.
Also surviving are three sons of whom he was very proud: William R. Fuller, Jr., PE (wife Donna) of Golden, CO; Theodore D. Fuller, PhD (wife Sheila Lightburn) of Blacksburg, VA; and James H. Fuller, PharmD (partner Ken Cornetta) of Indianapolis, and seven grandchildren: Karla J. Fuller (partner Lowell Allen) of Central City, CO; Kara J. Sullivan (husband Patrick) of Hutchinson, KS; Anne Thorn (husband Joey) of Hagerstown, MD; Margot Dahl (husband Bill) of Indianapolis, IN; Michael Roth (wife Rachelle) of Germantown, MD; Rachel Perez (husband Eric) of Manassas, VA; and Cody Lizotte (husband Jonathon) of Richmond, VA. His nine Great-Grandchildren (Aubrey Allen, Kaleb Sullivan, Konner Sullivan, Karson Sullivan, Khloe Sullivan, Paulina Perez, Katherine Thorn, Rebecca Roth, and Griffin Roth) were a source of great joy to him.
A brother, Rev. Robert J. Fuller of Coon Rapids, MN, survives. Another brother Cyrus H. Fuller of Chattanooga, TN, preceded him in death.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Soller-Baker West Lafayette Chapel, 1184 Sagamore Parkway West. Reception from 2p-3:30p Saturday followed by a service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the following:
1. Purdue University, Department of Mathematics Scholarship Fund, 150 N. University St. West Lafayette, IN 47907
2. Lafayette Symphony Orchestra PO BOX 52, Lafayette, IN 47902
3. Indiana Partners of the Americas, attn: Jim Mathias, Treasurer, 8804 Arbor Lake Drive Appt 1223, Indianapolis, IN 46268-4290 or www.inpartners.org
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Published in the Journal & Courier from Jan. 10 to Jan. 11, 2013