Submitted by Jolie Diepenhorst
The first thing one noticed about Don Fullerton was his dazzling smile he was never without. The second thing one noticed was his dedication. His wife of 18 years, Mary Alice Fullerton, said the most important elements in his life were biking, The Lions Club, and the piano. His dedication to these elements was apparent in everything he did.
If you knew Don well, you would know he loved biking. He biked all over the world including New Zealand and Switzerland. Don did not begin riding until he was 70 after his son suggested biking would be better for his joints than running. He biked in the Courage Classic with Mary Alice; he participated in both the MS 150 ride, and Ride the Rockies. These rides cross several mountain passes and cover hundreds of miles.
Don also loved the piano. His grandmother paid for his lessons and he played for her on Sunday afternoons when he was a young boy growing up in Denver. He and Lion Stewart Haskins became piano students together the last few years, as they would split their lesson time into two. He also played piano for the Lions Club on occasion. Mary Alice says when they married, she married Don and his keyboards (and he married her and her dogs), they were all part of the package. She encouraged the purchase of a real piano. Don’s piano is a focal point in the home he shared with Mary Alice.
Biking and Piano were important aspects both of which revolved around his life, but the greatest joy he received was being a member of the Lions Club.
Don joined the Lions Club in 1974. His served with the Englewood Club before transferring to the Denver Den. His achievements as a member of the Denver Den include Lion of the Year, Director, Melvin Jones Fellow, Foundation Trustee, RMLEIF trustee and president, District Gov. and Colorado Lions Foundation Endowment Trustee. These titles are important, but to Don, the work was the important piece.
Don was instrumental in the opening of the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute, he helped raised a majority of the funds and was very humble about his participation.
Don believed in Lionism, and he encouraged it in others as well. He hosted three exchange students over his lifetime from Germany, Switzerland and Finland.
The exchange he experienced with the student from Switzerland, Cornelius, produced a fantastic friendship. Don and Cornelius remained friends for 20 years and he brought his new wife to meet Don and Mary-Alice. Upon hearing of his death, they sent kind words to Mary-Alice and described Don as “a radiant and incredibly vivacious personality.”
Let us all take a moment to reflect upon Don’s incredible smile and his devotion to service and his dedication to life. You have a new path to forge Don. I hope you enjoy the ride!
Don is survived by his wife of 18 years, Mary Alice Fullerton; his three children, Kaye Fullerton Grassman, and her husband Vic, Paul Fullerton and his wife Renata Senderek, and David Fullerton; and four grandchildren, Chris, Allie, Jeffrey, and Alan (AJ) Fullerton, and his two devoted golden retrievers, Tawny and Adam.
A Memorial Service will be held June 15, at 3 p.m., at Greenwood Community Church, 5600 E. Belleview Ave., Greenwood Village.
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