Thomas Henry Fulton

Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2001

Longtime Alaska resident Thomas Henry Fulton died at Mercy Hospital in Roseburg, Ore., on Monday, Feb. 12, 2001, of cancer. He was 76.

A gathering will be held in June for his family and friends in Alaska, at a time and place to be announced.

Mr. Fulton was born to Thomas H. Fulton and Mary Pederson at the Alaska Railroad Hospital in Anchorage on April 10, 1923. He was a descendent of the Russian explorers who came to the Kenai Peninsula. He served in the Civilian Conservation Corps before World War II and enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Lewis, Wash., in 1942. He was sent back to Alaska to serve his time in various bases, including in the Aleutian Chain.

Mr. Fulton was sent to Fort Lewis to be discharged in 1946, after which he returned to Alaska in 1947 to make his home. He and his brother, Bob, fished commercially in the Cohoe area on the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1950s.

Mr. Fulton was a heavy equipment operator and helped to build many of the highways throughout Alaska, including the Seward, Sterling, Parks and the North Slope Haul Road, to name a few. He also worked on the international airport in Anchorage, the Eklutna Power Plant tunnel, Point Woronzof waste tunnel and treatment plant, the Valdez Oil Terminal and the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

He made his home in Sutherlin, Ore., since 1992. After Mr. Fulton retired, he traveled with his second wife, June, throughout the west coast, playing his guitar at nursing homes, hospitals and senior centers, including in Soldotna and Kenai. This opened many doors for him, and he was able to make many friends. The group he played with, The Westernaires, traveled to rallies throughout Douglas County in Oregon, where he became well known as a musician and for his willingness to help others with their music.

"He enjoyed hosting his friends in his home and cooking a special meal when he entertained. He loved to play his guitar and liked to help others who were having problems learning about their instruments. He would travel many miles just to play and give others joy listening to the music his little group played," his family said. "He volunteered his time so that others who were ill might have something to look forward to while living in nursing homes and hospitals. Many of the patients in these places never had anyone coming to see them or any mail, so this was a bright spot in their day."

Mr. Fulton was a member of the Mount Susitna Masonic Lodge, Moose Lodge in Anchorage, a charter member of the Kenai Elks Lodge No. 2425, and American Legion Post 20 in Kenai. He was a 50-year member of the Operating Engineers Local No. 302.

Mr. Fulton was preceded in death by his first wife, Arlene Stiles Lawrence, who died in Anchorage in 1981.

He is survived by his wife, June, who is in a convalescent home in Oregon; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Willa Virginia; nephews James and Ramon Fulton; nieces Brenna Brian and Therese Guest, and her husband Nigel, all of Anchorage; great-nephews Morgan, Steffan and Steven Fulton; special friend, Miriam Wolcott, of Sutherlin; and many relatives and friends in Alaska.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Children's Travel Fund, Al Aska Shrine Temple, 1930 East Northern Lights Blvd., Anchorage, AK 99508.

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