Obituary of Robert Fulfer, MD
Robert (Bob) Fulfer M.D. passed away peacefully at home on Oct 18, 2023. Known fondly as a true renaissance man who loved life and lived it to the fullest, mastering a myriad of skills and hobbies. Bob is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Beth (Peyton), children Stephen, Melissa (Nick) Hempler and Lindsey (Ciara) Thorne. Grandchildren Andrew, Lukas, Nathan, Leslie and Braydon. Sisters Nancy Merz and Ellen Story, and first Cousin & lifelong best friend Ronald Tyson, of North Carolina. Bob was born in Topeka KS, to Jim and Olive (Tyson) Fulfer, missionaries in the Adventist Church. This calling took their family to many countries starting with Barbados where Bob spent his first seven years living on the beach, sailing his boat "Scram". Bob attended elementary school in Tennessee then Little Creek Academy, a work study high school. After that, Bob ventured off to Las Vegas assuming he could become a Black Jack dealer, unaware that an inexperienced 17-year-old was not the optimum candidate. He continued on to Washington State and worked as a Lumberjack in the logwoods for the rest of the summer. Bob received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Physics from Southern Adventist University in 1966. He was drafted into the Army where he obtained classification as a Conscientious Objector and served in Viet Nam with Honors. Upon returning home, Bob was hired by United Medical Laboratories as C.O.O at 24 years of age, where he worked until the company was sold. Out of work, he set out to Guatemala on a church Mission trip to build houses, only to be turned away at the border on a technicality. Stranded in Mexico, Bob took advantage of the opportunity and applied to the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara where, after learning Spanish so he could understand the professors, received his Medical Degree. Bob returned to the States where, after passing the Foreign Medical Exam, completed his Anesthesia Residency and Fellowship. Moving to Tucson in 1985, he practiced nearly 30 years with Southern Arizona Anesthesia. A proud member of the Mountain Oyster Club, Bob was enchanted by Western Art. His home became a regular spot for serious artists to draw and paint livestock, scenery, structures, and even Bob himself. He loved riding with the men of Los Charros Del Desierto. A voracious reader, he loved sailing, trains, scuba diving, skiing, deep sea fishing, hunting with his best mule Polly, carpentry, welding and cooking for the famous Fulfer holiday parties. Bob loved telling funny stories, which were frequently interrupted by his laughter, until tears ran down his face, as he relived the stories he was sharing. Bob was selfless, and energetically offered to help anyone, in any way possible, at every opportunity. He was a mentor to many and a friend to all. A Celebration of Life will be held on his Birthday, Jan 27, at the Mountain Oyster Club.