Richard Norman Fullen
January 12, 1930 - March 28, 2012
Walla Walla - Richard Norman Fullen, 82, passed to his rest March 28, 2012,
at Pioneer House. Richard was born January 12, 1930,
in Buckeye, Arizona, to George Elmer and Velma Marie (Laughton) Robinson.
He was named by his parents at that time, George Elmer Robinson, Jr. His family
eventually settled in Bonner County, Idaho, near Spokane, where Richard's
brother was born soon after but tragically drowned a short time later in a fast-flowing river. Richard would
later gain a sister. His parents divorced when he was five years old, and because of hard times, placed him up for adoption.
Richard lived at The Hutton Settlement, an orphanage in Spokane, Washington, until he was adopted by a woman in Yakima,
Washington. At that time, he was fourteen years old. Because he wanted a new name to go with his new life, he chose Richard Norman
Fullen as his name - Richard was in honor of his previously deceased brother.
Richard attended St. Joseph/Marquette School in Yakima,
where he graduated and joined the United States Air Force, becoming
an air traffic controller. This was to become his career of twentysix
years. On March 13, 1954, he and Phyllis Althea Saxton were married
in Yakima, Washington. They had five children: Debra, Bill and Al,
Mark and Beverly. The Fullens came to Walla Walla in 1967, transferring
here with the U.S. Air Force. Richard felt it was home and
decided to retire here.
Many unanswered questions about Richard's early life bothered
him for years. When he was fifty-six years old in 1986, he decided
he needed to find what he could of his original family. He knew his
birth name and that he had lived in Spokane. That information and
a lot of record-searching would lead him to what he felt was previously
unattainable. He was able to find his mother and father, his
sister, Lottie; and what would turn out to be a blessing unknown to
him - sisters, Irene, Tess and brothers, Bob and Wesley.
His family was of utmost importance to him. He was also passionate
about hunting, fishing and Duplicate Bridge, achieving Platinum
Life Master with over 1,000 points. He will be greatly missed
by his Bridge Club members.
Those left to mourn his passing are his wife, at home; daughters:
Debra Fullen and Beverly (Chuck) French; sons: William
(Shelli) Fullen, Alfred (Sally) Fullen and Mark (Joanie) Fullen; his
brother, Wesley Hageman of Cuba, New Mexico; grandchildren:
Joshua Avila, Heather Aichele, Janelle Siller, Richard Fullen, Shelby
Fullen, Brian Fullen, Catherine Fullen, Mike Provost, Robert Fullen,
Phillip Provost, Christopher French, Samantha French and McKenna
French; seventeen great-grandchildren; niece, Denise Eastman
of Priest Lake, Idaho, and nephew, Brien Henson of Fresno,
California. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers,
Richard Robinson and Bob Watt; sisters: Lottie Henson, Tess Edge,
Irene Wherley; and his grandson, Jeremy Fullen.
Family and friends may pay their respects from 10:00 a.m.
until the 7:00 p.m. Recitation of the Rosary led by Sister Helen on
Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551
Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, Washington. The funeral mass
will be 10:00 a.m. at the Assumption Catholic Church, 2098 E. Alder
Street, Walla Walla. The Rev. Tyler Smedley will officiate. The
graveside service and burial with military honors will follow in Blue
Mountain Memorial Gardens, Myra Road, College Place. Memorial
contributions may be made to the Assumption Catholic Church
through the funeral home.
Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at