Thomas Fuller Sr.
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Thomas H. Fuller Sr. PORTSMOUTH - Thomas H. Fuller Sr. passed on June 10, 2011 at the age of 91. In June 2010, he moved from his residence to an assisted living facility, under strong, strident and consistent protest. Mr. Fuller was born in Denver, Colo., June 13, 1919 and at the age of 4, he and his twin brother, Edgar A. Fuller Jr., moved with their parents to Santa Monica, Calif. Mr. Fuller was a graduate of UCLA and a founding member of Muscle Beach on the Santa Monica shore. He and his twin brother worked out each morning on the beach and soon became known as "The Muscle Twins," and as friends started to join them for their morning workouts, local residents dubbed the area "Muscle Beach." Mr. Fuller was a World War II veteran. As a member of Gen. Patton's Third Army, he was in a number of battles now distinguished in history. Returning stateside, he married Betty Mae Brown, a Navy lieutenant of San Francisco, Calif. In 1953, he moved his family to Portsmouth to manage the Skippy plant located at Confederate and High streets. He was active in the Portsmouth PTA, Chamber of Commerce and Boy Scouts. He was predeceased by his wife of 28 years, Betty Brown Fuller. Survivors include their four children, Mrs. Rosemary Fuller Ringer (Wayne) of Norfolk, Dr. Thomas H. Fuller Jr. (Sue) of Elsah, Ill., Mr. Richard B. Fuller (Margie) of Pickens, S.C., and Dr. Edward E. Fuller Sr. (Kathy) of Raleigh. He is also survived by his twin brother, Edgar A. Fuller Jr. of Rolling Hill Estates, Calif. Tom Fuller is also survived by 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A memorial service, with military honors, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, June 20, at Monumental Methodist Church, Portsmouth. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Portsmouth Humane Society, 2704 Frederick Blvd., Portsmouth, VA 23704.

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Published in The Virginian-Pilot from Jun. 11 to Jun. 18, 2011.
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7 entries
June 20, 2011
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Rev. John Boyd
June 14, 2011
I too remember Mr. Fuller as Scoutmaster of Troop 220. He was an amazing man and will be fondly remembered by many people. My condolences go out to the entire Fuller family.
Norman Drake
June 13, 2011
Deepest sympathy to the Fullers on the loss of your Dad. He was a great scoutmaster for Troop 220 and was someone we could look up to as boys--since he stood well over 6' tall! He never stood for any nonsense from us boys, either. We will remember him very fondly.
Bill and Ann Heely
June 12, 2011
My deepest sympathy to the entire Fuller family. What a great man Mr. Fuller was, and I have many fond memories of him and the old Waterview neighborhood in Portsmouth. And never knew he was a founding member of "Muscle Beach!" How cool is that!! He will be missed and remembered by all! You're in my thoughts and prayers.
Nancy Heely
June 11, 2011
Our deepest sympathies Rose and Family. He is at peace at long last. God will give all of you strength through the coming days. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. -
Mike & Cathy Ringer
June 11, 2011
My favorite Dad stories take place outdoors. When I was very young, perhaps 4 or 5, Dad took me on a hike in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. I was so excited to walk the woods with Dad that I bolted from the cabin and ran down the trail through the woods, eager for whatever adventure lay ahead. Dad had walked only a few steps from the cabin and called me back. He pointed to a walking stick (insect) inching its way up the side of the cabin. I had never seen such a fascinating bug. Then he showed me that I had almost stepped on a black snake crossing the trail. The message has never been forgotten: Use your eyes! Observe constantly. There is much adventure in every step of life. I remember a hike a dozen years later that started near Douthat Lake at about 5 A.M.. We used flashlights for the early part of the walk. We reached the summit of the mountain (one of the Appalachians) near dawn and walked along its ridge in the crisp but warming air. Dad pointed out the birds we were seeing and hearing: Wood Thrush, Veery, Turkey Vulture, Wild Turkey. He identified 164 different bird species during his 92 years and continued identifying what he saw and heard even during his last year. My own interest in birding continues to this day. His favorite bird story took place while he was Scoutmaster of Portsmouth Troop 220. He was walking through the woods one morning at Camp Pipsico near Smithfield, Virginia and saw five different species of woodpecker on a single fallen tree: Pileated, Red-headed, Red-bellied, Downy, and Hairy. One part of his achievement of Eagle Scout (when he was a boy) was to identify 20 bird species by song and another 20 by sight. He was deeply proud that his sons Rickey and Eddie also became Eagle Scouts.
Tommy Fuller
June 11, 2011
So sorry to hear about your dad's passing. He sounds like a remarkable man.
Cleriece Whitehill
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