NO. 17420 • 20 June 1927 – 20 August 2010
Died in New Canaan, CT
Cremated. Inurned at St. Marks Church, New Canaan, CT
Alan Clarke “Pete” Fuller was born in Springfield, MA, on 27 Jun 1927, the only child of Roscoe Hodges Fuller and Barbara Ellis Trevor Fuller. Pete, as he was known by all, grew up in Massachusetts and Iowa. He was a goal-oriented person and set his sights on attending Phillips Exeter Academy. He graduated in 1945 and promptly enlisted in the U.S. Navy in order to pursue his interests in radio. He was trained as a radio operator but promptly discharged after V-J Day. In the meantime, he set himself the goal of securing an appointment to West Point. To improve his odds of succeeding, he entered the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School. While engaged in a field exercise one fine spring day, a jeep rolled up, and the driver gave Pete the happy news that his appointment had come through. He had no money, having sent all of his pay to his parents, so he hitchhiked home to New Jersey from Georgia. He spent one night on the trip home in the jail of a small southern town as a guest of the sheriff, who thought he’d be more comfortable in the jail than he would sleeping on a park bench.
The 1950 Howitzer notes that while “Leaving the Navy, Peters first glimpse of Army life was through a tour of Amherst and Benning. Here at the Point, Peter immediately excelled in academics, falling just short of stars. Some cold winter evenings were spent working on radios, but coaching the less academic men of the company was his finest endeavor, cheerfully aiding others typified his fine qualities as a potential leader.”
Upon graduation in 1950, Pete entered service in the newly formed Air Force. After stints in several schools, including flight training, radar school and guided missile training, he was assigned to the Missile Test Center at Cape Canaveral as a member of the initial cadre of the first Air Force tactical guided missile unit, where he served as a guidance systems officer for the “Matador” missile program. Bachelor officer housing was tight at Cape Canaveral as well, but since the local jail was too often in use, Pete bought himself a house trailer to sleep in.
Pete resigned his commission in 1953 and began working for General Electric in the marketing services division. In 1954, he was matriculated to Harvard Business School, where he earned a master of business administration degree in 1956. He subsequently joined McKinsey & Company and worked as a management consultant until 1964, when he joined IBM, performing similar work until retiring from IBM in 1989.
Retirement led Pete to set himself another goal, that of a master’s degree in computer science, which he earned at Pace University three years later. Pete used his extensive knowledge of computers as a freelance Information Technology guy for friends, for his church, and in his capacity as webmaster of the town of New Canaan.
Pete was an active member of the United States Sail and Power Squadron, a national organization devoted to boating education and safety, from 1970 until his death. He rose through the officer ranks to serve as squadron commander, district commander and finally rear commander of the national organization. He also had been a member of the Corinthians, an association of amateur yachtsmen, ever since 1979. Pete was fascinated by the technical and academic aspects of sailing and took every course the Power Squadron offered: basic boating, seamanship, advanced piloting, engine maintenance, junior navigation and celestial navigation.
Celestial navigation was a particularly stimulating challenge. Pete would arise hours before sunrise and drive 30 minutes to Long Neck Point, a spit of land projecting into Long Island Sound, to shoot stars in the early morning hours.
A faithful parishioner of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan for 52 years, Pete served at various times as delegate to the diocesan convention, vestry member, calling committee member, and chairman of stewardship. He was a minister of Communion and a member of the choir for 40 years. Pete was an avid bridge player, a member of the “Salty Old Boaters” club and two computer clubs. He was particularly proud of his ham radio operator’s license, “K1MRN,” which he had earned as a boy.
Pete married the former Ann Badger of Portsmouth, NH, in 1955. He is survived by his wife; his first son, Jonathan Ellis Fuller, and daughter-in-law Kyoko Ise Fuller of Omaha, NE ; his daughter, Marianne Mansfield Fuller Buchanan, and son-in-law William Barclay Buchanan II of New Canaan, CT; and his second son, Samuel Badger Fuller, of Darien, CT; as well as eight grandchildren.
Pete’s funeral was marked by touching tributes from his three children, who spoke fondly of him in his various roles as a stern and steady father, devoted husband, and always interesting companion with a wide variety of interests and enthusiasms. He always modeled for his children the uncompromising moral standards inculcated in him at West Point: Duty, Honor, Country. This inheritance for his children and grandchildren will survive him. A life well-lived, the world has been enriched by his presence in it.