Don William Fullmer, age 98, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 27, 2023. He was born in Abraham, Utah on December 13, 1924 to William and Cora Leona Sampson Fullmer. He was child number 3 in a family that eventually grew to include 11 children. Don was the only boy for 16 years until babies number 10 and 11 brought him 2 brothers. He fulfilled his “big brother” role with dedication, and was a great help to his parents and siblings throughout his life.
Don loved farming from an early age, and had hopes of obtaining the family farm. However, those hopes were dashed when the farm was lost due to the depression.
Don valued education and was one of only 4 boys his age to graduate from high school. A heart murmur kept him off the front lines of World War II, but he helped build the Internment camp at Topaz right after high school, and continued to work for the government for over 30 years. He often expressed his gratitude for always having a job until he retired from his business at age 92.
Don met Arnola Bennett at Billy Van’s Dance Hall in Delta. They were married May 23, 1945 in Fillmore, and shared life and supported each other for almost 75 years. They continued to seek learning and experience together. Their hard work, integrity, wisdom and entrepreneurial spirit eventually led to their becoming business owners, which expanded to 5 motels, 4 restaurants, 2 gas stations, a golf course, and numerous mining claims. They built a home in Fillmore and ventured into dad’s first love – farming – including raising hay, cattle and thoroughbred horses which they raced in Wyoming, California, Montana and Utah. All his children and grandchildren have wonderful memories of learning to work and play in the family business.
Don always joked that he made the money and his wife gave it away, but together they used their money to help their immediate and extended families with generosity and thoughtfulness. They gave to those less fortunate, and to many worthy causes. They did what they could to help the greater community of Fillmore which they loved being a part of. They donated land for the horse arena and the cheese plant, and many other less publicized acts of charity.
Though Don was blessed financially – he and Nola lived very frugally. It was a pleasant way of life for them both. Nola passed away on March 3, 2021. At that point Don moved into Jamestown Assisted Living in Provo where he was cared for till the end.
Don is survived by his children: Linda (Doug) Wangsgard, Carole (Kerry) Jones, and Mark (Marge) Fullmer; sisters: Barbara Gardner and Phyllis McElhaney; and younger brothers: Robert and David Fullmer. He is preceded in death by his wife Arnola; and daughter: Debra Dawn. Our family will miss him soooo much.
Funeral Services will be on Friday, May 5, at 11:00am, at the Fillmore Stake Center Chapel, 25 South 300 West. A Viewing will be held, 9:30-10:40, prior to the service. Friends unable to attend are invited to view the recorded video of the service. Interment will be at the Fillmore City Cemetery.