Obituary: Robert L. Fuller, 89

September 30, 1932 – May 22, 2022

Robert L. Fuller of Peabody, formerly of Reading, passed away on May 22, 2022, at the Beverly Hospital in Beverly.  He was 89 years of age.  Robert was born in Melrose, Massachusetts on September 30, 1932, the son of the late Myrton L. and Edna L. (Hutchins) Fuller.

Robert earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. His work-study placement with Fay, Spofford and Thorndike led to a career with the firm. He particularly enjoyed field work such as bridge inspections and contributing to complex projects, including the I-93 interchange at Storrow Drive and preparations for the “Big Dig”. He retired in 2002.

The Fullers raised their family in Reading, Massachusetts. Robert was a town meeting member, surveyed land for a YMCA building, and served as a poll worker. He was a deacon at the First Congregational Church of Reading. During his younger years, he was pitcher for the Jaycees softball team. Later, he enjoyed playing volleyball at a local park.

In high school and college, Robert played trumpet in the bands. He was a lifelong fan of classic New Orleans jazz. As a young man, he trekked to Cambridge and Boston to see some of the jazz greats perform. In his later years he traveled to jazz festivals in the northeast, enjoyed local masters of the tradition, and shared presentations about jazz masters at a local library.

During the summer, Robert would organize hikes (for family, friends, and colleagues) in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. By 1977, he had climbed all 42 peaks higher than 4000 feet, qualifying for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s 4000 Footer Club. He climbed the tallest mountain in New England, Maine’s Mt. Katahdin, numerous times. After retirement, he enjoyed hiking in the Middlesex Fells Reservation and led hikes to a local farm and along a rail trail.

Robert discovered square and contra dancing during college. He considered it a good way to keep in shape for mountain climbing and became quite proficient at helping new dancers. He served on caller Ted Sannella’s dance committee at the Concord Scout House and volunteered for the New England Folk Festival each year. Until Covid, he might dance four or five nights a week, always bringing flyers promoting other dances.

Robert was the beloved husband of the late Leslie B. (Gay) Fuller.  Devoted father of Susan Wageman of Oakland, CA, Jean Fothergill and her husband Frank of N. Andover, Nancy Breadmore and her husband Jim of Lawrence and Carol Wood of N. Reading.  Loving Grandfather of 5 and loving great grandfather of 6.

A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, May 26 at the First Congregational Church 25 Woburn St., Reading at 11:00am.  Burial is private.  Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, May 25 at the Douglass, Edgerley and Bessom Funeral Home 25 Sanborn St. (corner of Woburn St.) Reading from 3:00-7:00pm. 

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Robert’s memory to The Trustees of Reservations, 200 High St. Boston, MA 02110.  

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