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L. Gene Fullmer


1931 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
L. Gene Fullmer
"Champ"
Lawrence Gene Fullmer passed peacefully from this earth on April 27, 2015 due to complications related to Alzheimer's disease.
Gene was born July 21, 1931 to Lawrence"Tuff" and Mary Emma Iff Fullmer. He graduated from Jordan High School in 1949. He worked at Kennecott Copper Mine for several years and proudly served in the Korean War. Upon his return he married his sweetheart, Dolores Holt, October 13, 1955 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They raised 2 daughters and 2 sons.
Gene is known for his success in the boxing ring. He began his fighting career at age 12 for local trainer Marv Jensen. After an impressive amateur career he debuted as a professional in 1951. The highlight of his career came on January 2, 1957 when he defeated Sugar Ray Robinson in a 15 round battle for the World Middleweight Championship. He then lost the Championship in a rematch to Sugar Ray in May of 1957. Gene regained the vacant Middleweight Championship by defeating Carmen Basilio on August 28, 1959. He successfully defended his title seven times and fought in a total of 13 championship fights. He compiled an impressive record of 55-6-3. Gene was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991. His greatest loss was not suffered in the ring but when his wife Dolores passed away on January 2, 1983. He was fortunate to find his second sweetheart Karen Davey; they were married on May 19, 1984. They were approaching their 31st wedding anniversary at the time of Gene's passing.
After his boxing career Gene found pleasure in farming, raising mink and racing quarter horses. Gene was instrumental in the formation of the Golden Gloves in the Rocky Mountain Region. Along with his brothers Don and Jay, Gene spent countless hours coaching young men at the Fullmer Brothers Boxing Gym. He and Karen also spent many years serving on the Salt Lake County Fair Board. Gene always valued lessons that he learned from Marv Jensen regarding honesty, integrity and hard work. Gene never took for granted an opportunity to pass these lessons on to others. He also served as a Sunday School and Priesthood teacher for many years in the LDS Church. He will be remembered for his witty and cheerful personality. He was constantly telling jokes and pulling pranks.
Gene is preceded in death by his first wife Dolores; parents Tuff and Mary; sister Colleen; brothers Don and Jay; grandson Rex Newlun. Gene is survived by his wife Karen; four children: Kaye (Michael), DeLaun (Vicki), Bart (Tracy), Marianne (Rick) and his two step sons Vard and Jeffrey Davey. He will be truly missed by 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and many extended family members and friends.
The family would also like to extend a special thanks to Legacy Memory Care and Brighton Hospice for their tender care.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 4, 2015, 11:30 am at the West Jordan Mountain View Stake, 2901 West 9000 South where viewings will be held Sunday, May 3, 2015, 5-9:00 pm. and Monday, May 4, 2015, 9:30-11:00 am prior to funeral services. Interment, South Jordan City Cemetery. Arrangements under the direction of McDougal Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves at any Chase Bank or a memorial donation for Alzheimer's at www.alz.org/utah/ .
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Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Apr. 30 to May 3, 2015
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