SOUTH ROYALTON — A family graveside service with Military Honors will be held at a later date at the Brook Lands Family Cemetery for Lt. Col. (re.t) Melvyn W. Fuller, 98, who died June 3 at his home in South Royalton with Agnes, his wife of 71 years, by his side. Love of family, service to friends and Country and patriotism were the watchwords for his long and productive life.
He was born Oct. 16, 1914 in Chelsea, Mass. He grew up on Cape Cod, graduated from Barnstable High School and in 1934 graduated from Wentworth Institute. In 1992, he was inducted into the Black and Gold Society of what is now the Wentworth Institute of Technology and was presented a Bachelor Degree in Technology.
On Feb. 20, 1942, he married Agnes Whitmore of Plymouth, Mass. They recently celebrated their 71st anniversary.
On Cape Cod, he worked for New England Tel and Tel and was a member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard until he was activated for service in World War II. He served with the Signal Corps in England, North Africa and France. After a brief discharge Melvyn returned to active military service as a Signal Corps Officer until he retired in 1963 with 26 years of service. While in the Army he participated in numerous advanced military coursework including advanced levels of Flight training. During his service he was honored with many awards and commendations, including the Air Medal, The Army Commendation Medal, The Third Army Achievement Medal and Senior Army Aviator Wings.
Upon his retirement from the Army, the family moved to South Royalton where he established Valley Craftsman Building Supplies from which he took his second retirement in the mid seventies.
Throughout his life he founded, was active and held leadership roles in numerous local, state and national organizations, again receiving many awards and citations. His many Masonic affiliations include 71 years as a Mason. He served 20 years as Secretary of Rising Sun Lodge No. 7 in South Royalton. He was a member of the Scottish Rite, Mount Sinai Shriners, No. 2, and the Sword of Bunker Hill. He was one of the organizers of the first DeMolay Chapter at South Royalton. He belonged to the National Sojourners Inc. and helped found the Green Mountain Chapter where he became a President of the Chapter and Past Commander of Heroes of ’76.
Mel and Agnes belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star for 69 years with most recent memberships in South Royalton and Sharon. He was Past Worthy Grand Patron of Vermont Order of the Eastern Star.
Other organizations to which he belonged include: The VFW where he organized and was Commander of Posts in Hyannis, Mass. and South Royalton; The Military Order of the World Wars of which he was Commander of local and regional chapters; The Sons of the American Revolution; Bethel Rotary; South Royalton School Board; and the Kentucky Colonels. He was proud of his Mayflower heritage and was a past Governor of the Vermont Society of Mayflower Descendants.
Mel was a man of many interests and hobbies. He became computer literate in the early days of home computing and put his skills to use for his various organizations. He enjoyed woodworking and renovating his homes. He was always involved in a project. He enjoyed cooking and gardening and never saw a tool, gadget or machine he didn’t like.
He is survived by his wife, Agnes of South Royalton and their children and spouses: Nancy (Dale) Howe of White River Jct., Sandra (Neil) Day of Longmeadow, Mass., Patricia (Alan) of Tunbridge, Richard Fuller of South Royalton and Carlton Fuller of Barre; eight grandchildren, Julie Howe of New York City, Melissa Howe Pitts of Nazareth, Penn., Diane Day Fleming of Westborough, Mass., Russell Day of Old Saybrook, Conn., Jennifer Howe Thygesen and Shannon Howe Johnson, both of Tunbridge, Caitlin Fuller and Jonathan Fuller, both of Barre; nine great-grandchildren. He is also survived by daughter Judith (Richard) Ford of Hebron, Conn., and her children and grandchildren. A brother, Edmund (Florence) Fuller of Centerville, Mass., and his family; a niece and nephew on Agnes’s side of the family.
He was predeceased by a son from an early marriage, Major James Fuller.
Donations in his honor may be made to the Vermont Food Bank, 33 Parker Rd., Barre Town, 05641 or South Royalton Rescue, PO Box 482, South Royalton, 05068.
The family is grateful for the attentive care given by Dr. Adam Schwarz, Margaret and Gracia of the VNA, and his caregivers, especially Michelle.
Boardway and Cilley Inc. Funeral Home are assisting with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at www.boardwayandcilley.com.
This obituary first appeared in the June 13, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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