Aug. 3, 1920 — July 15, 2013
Norman John Fullerton, 92, former resident of Milton-Freewater for 54 years, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2013, at his home in Walla Walla. On what would have been Norman’s 93rd birthday, a celebration of life memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, at Grace Presbyterian Church, Milton-Freewater, with the Rev. Terry Hackney officiating.
Norman was born at his family home, The Cavan, in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, to Samuel and Mary Millar Fullerton. After attending Bushmills High School, he served in the home guard and special police forces in Northern Ireland during World War II. In 1945, he bought a general store in Ballycarry, N. Ireland, that he operated until his great love of adventure took him to Canada.
In 1948, Norman married his wartime sweetheart, Hazel Lang, whom he met at a dance in 1944 in Portstewart, N. Ireland. In 1955, the couple, along with three children, immigrated to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and in 1959 they immigrated to Milton-Freewater. A fourth child was added to their family in 1962, and in 1965 the couple became naturalized U.S. citizens, something they were very proud of! Norman and Hazel would have been married 65 years on Aug. 7, 2013.
In Edmonton, and in Milton-Freewater, Norman engaged in the grocery business and food processing, working for Prices IGA and Rogers Cannery in Milton-Freewater, among other employers, retiring in 1984. Norman was an extremely hard worker throughout his life, gaining an appreciation of hard work growing up on a rural dairy farm and owning his own businesses. Throughout their married years in America, the Fullertons returned to the British Isles several times, and also enjoyed other destinations, including Southern California, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and the Oregon Coast. Their winter trips to Santa Barbara, Calif., and to Brookings, Ore., were highlights of their retirement years!
Norman was a member of Grace Presbyterian Church for 54 years, of the Masonic Lodge for 64 years, of Eastern Star and of the local Elks. He was a founder of the Milton-Freewater Bread Basket, helping to run it for several years. He lived out the belief that no one should be without basic needs!
Norman enjoyed his church and other affiliations, often utilizing his beautiful Irish voice to read scripture in church services and other functions. He even sang a few Irish solos and played the harmonica. Norman loved to travel, golf, garden, read and you would often see Norman and Hazel walking all over Milton-Freewater. The couple spent much of their time together and in pursuit of similar interests, their favorite destination being the beach, whether in Oregon, California or Ireland. Norman loved to drive, whether car, truck or tractor! He very much enjoyed his time with family and friends and liked nothing more than a great chat! He wrote letters to his siblings in Ireland since 1955 until just recently when he was no longer able!
Norman was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Sadie Kennedy and Jean McQuigg, and his son, Michael Fullerton. He is survived by his wife, Hazel, of Park Plaza, Walla Walla; his brother, George Fullerton (Ruth), N. Ireland; his three children, Jane Kilburg (Jan), Milton-Freewater, Helen Ward (Robert), Tigard, Ore., and James Fullerton (Madeline) Kings Beach, Calif.; and his grandchildren, Joel Kilburg (Jennifer), Tampa, Fla., Sadie Partin (Justin), Milton-Freewater, Becca Kilburg and Anne Kilburg, Portland, Stephanie Van Raden (Benjamin), Hillsboro, Ore., and Jonathan Ward, Tigard, Ore. Two great-grandchildren, Krista and Kylee Kilburg, Tampa, Fla., also survive him along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews throughout the world.
Norman’s family would like to express their deep appreciation to Jackie Jacobson, a wonderful help in giving Norman comfort and contentment during his last months and to Dr. Fry and his staff, Dr. Morgan and Aidah Esarey for their compassionate medical assistance. The family also would like to thank the management and residents of Park Plaza Retirement Home for their support and friendship during his residence there! Memorial contributions may be made to the Milton-Freewater Bread Basket or Grace Presbyterian Church through Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main St., Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.
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