Richard "Rick" Lloyd Louis Fulford
FULFORD, RICHARD LLOYD LOUIS (December 31, 1934 – October 6, 2019)
Rick was born in Valleyfield, the second of five (5) sons of Hilliard Lloyd Fulford and his wife, Andree Payette Fulford. His brothers were Bob, Gerry, Lloyd (all deceased) and Paul. Rick and Nina have two children: Lianne (Dennis Patterson) and Dean (Maria Monteduro Fulford). They were blessed with 3 grandchildren: Emma, Luka and Maddie. Rick is survived, too, by nephews, nieces, and cousins in Canada, England and the United States and by brother Paul (Barbara) and brother-in-law, Barry Arnold. There are nephews and nieces and cousins in California, England and Canada.
The family moved often since his dad worked for Bell and Rick attended many different schools and graduating in St. Lambert.
Rick then followed his father and joined Bell Canada working in St. Agathe and Montreal, moving through installation and repair to central office work where he was promoted. He left Bell on good terms to live out a dream of being in business with his brother, Bob, and another man but after about 3 years returned to Bell. He then worked in Orangeville, Hamilton and lastly Huntsville. The last few years he worked out of the Engineering department surveying the needs of cottages on islands and in the bush using snow machines in winter and boats in summer.
He met Nina at the Fri-Y club in St. Laurent. This was an offshoot of the YMCA that held dances in a local school gym. Nina was part of the planning group of about 15 and Rick soon joined them. They dated for three years before their wedding in August 1960. Rick loved to travel in North America and in Europe
When Rick and Nina dated they alternated between worship at the Roman Catholic and United Churches. They married in his church. Rick had several years being relatively “unchurched” but when the family moved to Huntsville he responded to the warm invitations to join the Fortnightly Club at Trinity. In the company of those friends he became involved, re-affirmed his faith and became an elder. He chaired the Administration Committee and held other roles.
In those days, Fortnightly took on the job of repainting the sanctuary. A couple of dozen of them were wielding brushes or rollers on walls or trim when they heard a crash. Rick, as an experienced Bell man, was on a 30-foot ladder when it slid down. He rode the ladder down and jumped off when it neared the floor and was unhurt. Unfortunately the can of pain tipped and, while the organ was protected, the slatted pedals got splashed with paint.
For most of his life, Rick was very healthy and I don’t remember him missing a day of work. But in 1993 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and had surgery and chemotherapy. He had been a smoker for several decades. It was during this difficult time that Nina accepted a long suppressed call to ministry. Rick was shaken by this but quickly became a strong supporter looking after their home and taking over the bread baking. He cheerfully accompanied her to Powell River BC for internship and became involved in the church there especially in the kitchen for fundraising dinners.
Once he recovered his strength after his Cancer operation, he drove for the Cancer Society, able to share his journey with those he transported. He was a Meals-on-Wheels driver for many years; an Elder and Board member at Trinity and on the Huntsville Public Library Board; Trinity geared to income housing project. He also spent many years operating the lights for the Rotary musicals and offered that skill to Stina Niquist and to John McTavish for plays at Trinity. He was very keen on drama and with Hall and Mary Jane Seely had summer season tickets to King’s Wharf in Penetanguishene. Rick and Nina alternated Friday night bridge with the Seelys (this continued even when Nina was settled as minister at Wyevale-Waverly United Churches.) All four annually had a spring break in Myrtle Beach. For several years he helped offer a pancake breakfast at Fairvern. His family also relished his pancakes at home!
For a number of years, with Hall and later with his son-in-law, Dennis, he made his own wine… even the years living in the church manse at Wyevale! He was pleased to be able to share his product with many. He also worked as a volunteer marshal at Deerhurst Golf Club several summers.
He helped start dinner theatre in Waverley and in Kearney. He also shared his kitchen skills in church-sponsored dinners.
Rick had a strong drive for excellence. He was an expert bowler, golfer and bridge player. In fact he became rather testy if he did not live up to his own expectations and that meant a rehash of the bridge play noting where he or his partner had made a poor decision.
He was an excellent driver (sent to driving school by Bell, as soon as he was hired). At one point he took part in a car rodeo where he was timed as he looped through obstacles and he was deemed Bell Ontario champion. Though not a member, in 1997, the Rotary Club named him a Paul Harris fellow. He carried the torch for the 1988 Olympics (we still have the red and white snow suit he was given). He was a Telephone Pioneer and received an award for his Library Board service.
Above all, Rick was a family man. He loved his children and taught them his love of cards and games. He was patient with them but firm about their responsibilities. He revelled in their activities and successes. He was just as caring about his grandchildren and always looked forward to visits. He loved to play games with them. Just as he had done for his son, he keenly followed grandson, Luka’s hockey progress.
Rick was a loving husband…. more likely to bring Nina coffee than roses. Not good about SAYING sorry when they had an argument but living it by offering a backrub or a hug. As the years passed he learned to open up about things while it was easy to discuss and sort out differences. His inborn shyness and introversion diminished remarkably when he was receiving cancer treatment.
His cancer was found and treated early largely because he developed LEMS (Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome) which affects the motor nerves. LEMS improved somewhat with the cancer treatment but gradually worsened over the decades diminishing his mobility. We obtained a wonderful folding power wheelchair. At first, when used intermittently it was a blessing but later, when he needed it all the time, he developed sores on his rump. We were served by wonderful nurses from the LHIN and received excellent care from Dr. Stewart… who even made house calls! He also received wonderful care in that final week from the HDMH doctor and nurses. As Rick became gradually weaker he showered us with words of love and gratitude and we had opportunities to tell him of our love, too. On his final day when his pain and breathing were very troubling, he was with family – some in person and others by telephone.
We’ve truly appreciated the many words of remembrance and condolence that have been shared. There are tears but there is much gratitude that we had so much time with him. He will be missed by many. Thank you God, he is at peace now.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Trinity United Church, 33 Main Street, East Huntsville on Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 2:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Trinity United Church or to the charity of your choice. www.mitchellfuneralhome.ca