The marquee at Farmington Junior High School said it all: "Mr. Fullmer you will be missed."
The school's principal, Bill Fullmer, 56, died Friday after battling cancer.
Students and school staff say he left a long-lasting impression on the youths' lives. He was known for his reasonable attitude, kind sense of humor, his devotion to his family and his military service."He was an example of leadership and had a positive attitude clear to the end," said ninth-grader Melissa Tingey.
Fullmer was principal of Farmington Junior High for six years and battled cancer the last two and a half years.
Students wrote poems and memories for a book presented to Fullmer just days before he died at home under the care of his wife, who is a registered nurse.
PTA president Tina Ashby, who oversaw the book project, said there were 800 entries. "Counselors and office staff said the students handled the death of their principal better since they had this opportunity to express their feelings toward him before he passed," Ashby said.
Fullmer began his education career with Davis School District in 1978 and worked for 31 years in roles including social worker, special education teacher, assistant principal and principal.
"We have a great school because of Mr. Fullmer's leadership," said Farmington Junior High assistant principal Jim Mossel.
Rosanne Uffens, a secretary at the school, said teachers especially appreciated Fullmer's understanding when they had family emergencies. He would frequently substitute for a teacher if they were out attending to family matters. "He believed they were parents first. You have to put food on the table, but your family is the most important thing," Uffens said.
Fullmer came to work even when he was suffering from cancer in his spine and liver. He fully expected to return after Thanksgiving break and left his office as such with his jacket there and papers covering his desk, school staff said.
"Even when Mr. Fullmer was going through a hard time, he was still happy and willing to help students," said ninth-grader Daulton Swan.
Davis District officials have made no decisions on Fullmer's temporary or permanent replacement.
While working at North Davis Junior High from 1988 to 1994, Fullmer was deployed overseas in Desert Storm. He was in the Utah Air National Guard for 35 years and had retired with the rank of chief master sergeant, the highest rank obtainable for an enlisted person.
Fullmer graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's in social work. He earned an administrator's endorsement from Utah State University.
Farmington Junior High students will be dismissed at noon Thursday for Fullmer's funeral, 1 p.m., preceded by a viewing from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kaysville Haight Creek Stake Center, 1520 Fox Pointe Drive, Kaysville. A viewing will also be at the site 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Fullmer's wife and three children are requesting, in lieu of flowers, contributions to the LDS Perpetual Education Fund.
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