Henry Dee Fuller



Jefferson County Leader Aug. 6, 2015

Dr. Henry Dee Fuller, 78, of Crystal City died July 23, 2015, at his home. Dr. Fuller was a 1966 graduate of St. Louis University School of Medicine and worked as a physician for 39 years. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and enjoyed serving three full-time missions for the church to the Navajo and Hopi Indians, the Phillipines and New Zealand. Born Nov. 25, 1936, in LaVerkin, Utah, he was the son of the late Rosalba (Gubler) and Luther Carlos Fuller.

He is survived by his wife: Carol Ann (Jones) Fuller; five daughters: Rose Ann Fuller of Crystal City, Cristy (Mark) Herron of Jefferson City, Julie (Jeff) Maw or Mooresville, N.C., Deanne (Opie) Stinson of Thomasville, N.C., and Melissa (Randy) O’Donnal of Goodyear, Ariz.; five sons: David (Rande) Fuller of Scottsdale, Ariz., Dan (Lyndi) Fuller of Pevely, Mike (Rachel) Fuller of Littleton, Colo., Dennis (Jaime) Fuller of Henderson, Nev., and Don (Sara) Fuller of Goodyear, Ariz.; two brothers: Doyle (Anna) Fuller of St. George, Utah, and Kevin Ross (Kathy) Fuller of Orem, Utah; three sisters: Jane Rae Topham of Orem, Vanda (Carl) Wadsworth of Hurricane, Utah, and Ada Lu (Don) Hinton of Washington, Utah; 37 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two brothers: Norman Fuller and Don Carlos Fuller; and one sister: Pauline Florence Fuller.

Visitation is scheduled from 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1000 McNutt School Road, in Herculaneum. Family prayer service will be held at 11:30 a.m. and a funeral service at noon, with Bishop Mike Stevenson officiating. Burial is in Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens in Crystal City. Memorials may be made to Humanitarian Services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Arrangements are under the direction of Vinyard Funeral Home in Festus.


Life Story: Dr. Henry Dee Fuller, 78, Crystal City
By Laura Marlow Aug 1, 2015

Whether he was giving medical care during a mission trip, teaching young doctors or showing his own children how to work in the garden, Dr. Henry Fuller was all about helping make life better for those around him, said his wife, Carol, 74, of Crystal City. “That is his legacy to his children – the ability to be compassionate and help others,” she said. Dr. Henry Dee Fuller died peacefully at his home on July 23 at age 78, of pancreatic cancer.

He was raised in Utah as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called Mormons) and went to Brigham Young University along with his wife, who grew up in Henderson, Nev. She was a business major and he got a degree in accounting. Following the Mormon custom, after graduation he served two years as a missionary to the Navajo and Hopi Indians. “He saw how the Indians were treated on the reservation,” Carol said. “He really wanted to do something to help them, and he decided to go back to school and become a doctor.”

He was accepted into St. Louis University Medical School in 1961 and the couple moved to St. Louis with their first child. Four more would be born during his years in medical school. “Every time we had another baby, my father-in-law would say, ‘Well, I guess that’s the end of your schooling,’” Carol said with a laugh. “I don't think he had a lot of faith in us.” Once certified as a physician, Dr. Fuller wasn’t able to go into public health after all. “He had picked up something when he was working in the parasitology lab,” Carol said. “It was misdiagnosed as ulcerative colitis, and he was rejected by the Army and by  public health because they thought he had that condition.”

The Fullers had enjoyed living in St. Louis, but the call of family was strong. “We really liked it here, but we were homesick for family, so we went back out West,” Carol said. Dr. Fuller established a family practice in Chula Vista, Calif., and his wife enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom as the family grew by another five children. In 1979, the family returned to Missouri and Dr. Fuller split his time between his family practice and working in the ER at what was then Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Crystal City. He later moved his practice to Barnhart, taking over a former JMH urgent care clinic space. In 2001 he went to Poplar Bluff to work in the ER full time. “I think his favorite time was his last three years there,” Carol said. “He got to teach the residents who came down from the medical school at the University of Missouri. He really enjoyed that.”

Throughout the years, wherever the family lived, Dr. Fuller spent as much time as he could with his children. “He was determined to teach them the value of work, the pleasure in doing a job well,” Carol said. “Bright and early in the morning, he had them out working in the garden. He instilled in them his love of working with his hands, and the idea of working hard to get what you want. “With the exception of the one who is a city dweller, all the children now still have gardens.”

In 2005, Dr. Fuller retired from practice, and he and his wife headed out on a two-year medical mission trip to the Philippines. “We traveled all around the country, 15 locations,” Carol said. “He did training of other missionaries and taught sanitary methods and that kind of thing. It was hard work, but it was nice for us to get the chance to work together.”


The Fullers returned to the U.S. only briefly before heading out again on an 18-month mission trip to New Zealand, doing work similar to what they’d done in the Philippines. They came back to the states for good in 2010 and Dr. Fuller was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late 2014. “He knew what (the diagnosis) was going to be before the tests even came back,” Carol said. “He always was pretty good at diagnostics.” Although the disease progressed quickly, Dr. Fuller was relatively comfortable. “Even through radiation and chemotherapy, he had very little pain,” Carol said. “He got very weak, and that bothered him because he couldn’t work in the garden. “I actually thought I would find him one day in the garden, dead, with a smile on his face.”

In mid-July, nine of the couple’s 10 children and their families gathered in Herculaneum for a family reunion. “He was able to stay at home, and the kids visited him in small groups,” Carol said of her husband. “Then we had a dinner and program in the big hall at the church. The kids sang and played musical instruments, and then they told him how much they loved him, and what they’d learned from him. It was nice that he was able to see and hear all of that.” Carol said her husband would want to be remembered as someone who lived his life according to his values. “He tried to do what Christ would do,” she said. “His body gave out, but his spirit never did. He was so loving and giving.

“He made the world a better place for his having been here.”