Richard P. "Dick" Fuller, age 87, of Mount Gilead, died peacefully on Sunday morning, March 23, 2014, at home following an extended illness.
On April 25, 1926, Dick was born in Marengo, Ohio, one of five children of the late Homer and Edythe (Patton) Fuller. He graduated from Marengo High School in the Class of 1944.
Shortly following graduation, Dick enlisted to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps to help his beloved country in the fight of World War II. He served as a gunner, and was kept stateside to help train soldiers.
Upon his honorable discharge, Dick returned home to Marengo to marry his high school sweetheart, Pauline "Polly" Mason. They were married on September 1, 1946, on her family farm. During their 67 wonderful years of marriage, they were the perfect complement to one another…Dick always striving for more and Polly always keeping them grounded. Together they also lovingly raised four sons, and shared a love for traveling.
Upon returning home, Dick also dedicated himself to furthering his education. He started at Otterbein College in 1946, then attended Ohio State University, Ohio University and ended at the University of Toledo in 1971, earning bachelor, masters and specialist degrees along the way.
The beginning of Dick's working career, started with him as a teacher at Claridon High School and Marengo Local Schools for three years. Next, he served as superintendent of Marengo Local Schools for six years, and from this point in his career on, Dick's focus was on solving financial situations for school districts; helping them fix their budgets, and making adjustments for additional school buildings and remodeling old buildings…this was his passion. He dedicated himself to Sylvania's Village and City Schools for 14 years, Oak Park Schools in Michigan for 8 ½ years, Toledo Schools for 3 years, and his last three years with Seattle, Washington's City Schools. No matter the challenge, he always found a way, even if it consumed his every thought until he got it solved.
Dick was a member of numerous educational and community organizations over the years, with one of the most prominent being the American School Business Officials of the U.S. and Canada (ASBO).
A man of faith, Dick was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church, where he helped for a short period with their finance committee. He also attended many other churches wherever he and Polly were living at the time.
When Dick wasn't fixing school budgets, one of his favorite pastimes was stamp collecting. He could even have been described as a "crazy person" when it came to his stamp collection. He also enjoyed flower gardening, especially dividing and sharing his hostas.
A positive and upbeat person, Dick was held in high esteem by anyone who knew him. His former students often described him as a mentor to them. His colleagues would say that he had a way of finding and bringing out the best in everyone. He was truly one of a kind.
With all that Dick has accomplished in life, his proudest achievement was by far his family. He would do anything for his family. At the request of his grandson, he became an ordained minister so he could officiate his grandson's wedding, and baptize a few of his great-grandchildren. He cherished every moment spent with his family.
He will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, Polly Fuller of Mount Gilead; four children: Steven (Mary) Fuller of Mount Gilead, Richard (Nancy) Fuller II of Romeo, MI, Douglas (Barbara) Fuller of Monroe, MI, and Bruce (Gayle) Fuller of Clarkston, MI; 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren; a brother, Robert (Dorothy) Fuller of Kilbourne; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Including his parents, Dick was preceded in death by his sister, Evelyn Schaublin; and two infant siblings: Raymond and Helen Fuller.
His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 27th, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life will be held on Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 E. High St., Mount Gilead, with Rev. Lori Burdette-Steele officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in Marengo Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, c/o Food Pantry, and to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and they can be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to Dick's family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.