Monday, July 15, 2024

Melvin 'Duane' Fulgham, 76

| October 26, 2023 1:00 AM

I left this world with the great joy of my life — my wonderful family — close by and giving me comfort. I was born May 5, 1947, in Emmett, Idaho, the seventh and youngest child of Samuel Eugene Fulgham and Minnie Alice Cox Fulgham. 

When I was 4 years old, my family, along with dozens of Fulgham and Wallace relatives, relocated to Bonners Ferry, Idaho. I grew up there, graduating from Bonners Ferry High School before attending the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, and graduating in 1969 with a degree in accounting. I became a CPA the same year.

My career in accounting and finance took me all over the western USA, first with Shell Oil Company in Denver, Midland, Texas, and Houston, and later with the real estate division of Burlington Northern Railroad in Seattle, with offices and issues to resolve in the multitude of cities and towns where BNRR had rail lines. 

When Burlington rolled up the real estate division in 1992, I entered the nonprofit world, serving as vice president of finance for United Way of King County, then the largest division of United Way in the United States.

I married Sandra Anschutz (later Willoughby) in 1966, and our partnership in raising our two children, Tony and Shannon, lasted well over 50 years, long after our marriage ended. We were blessed to share a delightfully blended family of kids, stepkids and grandkids throughout my 30-plus years with my wife, Marti Anamosa. 

Our family treasures memories of many holidays and summer gatherings at Marti’s and my home in the woods on Whidbey Island — even the cold Thanksgiving during the pandemic spent outside around the campfire. Marti and I kept the road between Whidbey and Seattle busy as Tony and Shannon launched careers in film production and nursing, respectively, and as Tony’s children grew up. 2023 was a grand year, with grandkids Ruby graduating from UW and Cash graduating from Lincoln High School.

During our 25-plus years on Whidbey Island, Marti and I traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe and also immersed ourselves in the South Whidbey community by volunteering with various community groups. Over our time on the island, I served on the boards and/or finance committees of the South Whidbey Youth Center, Island County Democrats, Island Senior Services and the Whidbey Camano Land Trust. These organizations kept me actively involved for years and left me with many treasured friends.

I was preceded in death by my parents as well as my siblings, Betty Fulgham Adkins, Tom Fulgham; and twins Lee and Leon Fulgham. I am survived by my sister, Arlene Fulgham Norwood of Bonners Ferry, and Gene Fulgham (Sandra) of Libby, Mont. 

I am also survived by my beloved wife, Marti Anamosa of Whidbey Island; and by my children, Anthony David “Tony” Fulgham (Melisa “Daisy” Fulgham) of Seattle and Shannon Marie Fulgham (Chris Ryan Davidson) of Ellensburg, Wash. And I can’t forget those rascally grandkids who survive me, Ruby Pearl Fulgham and Cash Porter Fulgham; as well as my first wife, Sandra Willoughby (Roy Hardesty) of Edmonds, Wash.

There will be a celebration of my life at some date in the future. Stay tuned. Remembrance gifts may be made to Senior Services of Island County or the Whidbey Camano Land Trust.