Charles Wilford “Chuck” Fulkerson

Charles Wilford “Chuck” Fulkerson

Death 25 Oct 2014 (aged 79)
Burial Fernley, Lyon County, Nevada, USA
Memorial ID 148960355 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Charles W. "Chuck" Fulkerson, Ret. U.S. Army Colonel, age 79, died on October 25th while visiting the family farm near his birthplace in Jerome, Idaho. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Lee; children Cathy, Jake (Marisa), and Bob (Mike); daughter-in-law Sheila Leslie and five grandchildren, Emma, Micaleen, Abby, Eli and Katy; brothers Earl of Boise and Bob of Jerome. His parents, Irene Esther (Claar) and Newton Elijah Fulkerson, and sister, Jaqueline Webb, predeceased him.

At the urging of his parents, Chuck left the farm to attend Northwest Christian College school for one year, before transferring to the University of Nevada, Reno. One night at the Li'l Wal on Virginia Street, he met Mary Lee Metzker, and they were married at her family home on Irving Circle.

In 1955 Chuck graduated from the UNR ROTC program and was commissioned a 2LT in the Active Duty Army. He served two combat tours in Viet Nam and three tours in Germany, earning numerous military decorations including two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He also earned the Nevada Distinguished Service Medal and the National Guard Bureau's Eagle Award for Outstanding Service. But the award he most prized was the G.I.'s Officer Award, an informal award bestowed upon him by his peers. Additionally, Chuck was inducted into the UNR ROTC Hall of Fame.

A life in the military meant frequent moves, often twice in one year, with Chuck driving the family from one post to the next, usually singing "You are my Sunshine", "Home Means Nevada" or his favorite, "God Bless America."

After Chuck's Active Duty service he joined the Nevada Army National Guard and after a remarkable career as an Army Officer he was appointed by Governor Kenny Guinn as the Executive Director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services in 2000 where he fiercely advocated for better health care and services for veterans and oversaw the construction of the Southern Nevada Veterans Home. He was also the co-founder of the Veterans Guest House, which provided overnight lodging for countless families of veterans receiving medical care in Reno, after he learned that many slept in their cars because they were unable to pay for lodging. He also served two terms on the Veterans Service Commission, appointed by Governors Miller and Guinn.

Chuck was an active member of the Reno Sunrise Rotary and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America and the American Legion, US Army Ranger Association and Association of the United States Army. In 2006, the University of Nevada Board of Regents named him a Distinguished Nevadan.

Chuck believed strongly in personal community service, offering his time to many organizations, large and small. After serving as a volunteer for Boy Scout troop 76 and receiving the Silver Beaver Award from the Nevada Area Council, Chuck resigned from the organization in 1992 to protest their policy of denying gay men the opportunity to participate and was never shy about informing others about his decision.

Chuck leaves legions of friends and extended family to mourn the passing of this dedicated and honorable man, a humanitarian who always put others before himself. Perhaps this was never more evident than the past few years as he tried to prevent his Alzheimer's from overburdening his beloved caregiving wife, willingly stopped driving, and was preparing to enter an assisted facility.

He loved exploring the back roads of Nevada and Idaho, always wanting to see what was around that upcoming bend or over the next rise. He didn't hesitate to voice his observation about the hand of a supreme being at work, whether he was asking us to pull over to watch the sunset, or to be still and listen to the aspen quaking or a flock of geese honking above. His childlike curiosity inspired him to constantly dive into new experiences, from singing with the Note Ables to chanting in a yoga class to fishing off the coast of Alaska.

A memorial service and reception will be held Saturday, November 1, 10:30 am at the Army Aviation Support Facility, 20,000 Army Aviation Drive, Stead, Nevada. Donations in Chuck's name may be made to the Veteran's Guest House or the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

Following is "Chuck's Credo", which he asked to be read at his funeral:

"I believe that I am the product of a spiritual force (Being), that I possess the mental capacity to make decisions that direct my life. That I am responsible for the impact that these decisions have on my life as well as others.

I believe that each must seek to better the lives of those around us while seeking to better our own lives.

I believe that we own nothing, that we must leave this earth a better place for future generations.

I believe that this life on this planet is a stop along the way to continuing presence in other locations.

I believe that what I know is very small to that which is to be known."

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Oct. 29, 2014

DATE OF BIRTH: 07/01/1935
DATE OF DEATH: 10/24/2014
veterans site

Sponsored by Ancestry




  • Created by: C & Y Zinn-Haines
  • Added: 9 Jul 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 148960355
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Wilford “Chuck” Fulkerson (1 Jul 1935–25 Oct 2014), Find A Grave Memorial no. 148960355, citing Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Fernley, Lyon County, Nevada, USA ; Maintained by C & Y Zinn-Haines (contributor 47043207) .