Robert Weeks Fuller
Robert Weeks Fuller, University of Vermont Emeritus Professor and well-known Wildlife Biologist passed away on Friday, January 20, 2017. He was born May 12, 1924, in Center Conway, NH, the son of Mildred Ellen Weeks and John Isaiah Fuller.
Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942, and was awarded his pilot’s wings and a lieutenant’s commission. He served as pilot instructor in single engine aircraft and later as a pilot of a B-17 bomber.
He married Beverly Edith Barden of Gorham, ME in January 1945.. Bob and Beverly moved to Burlington, VT, where he entered the University in 1946 as an engineering student. He transferred in 1948 to the University of Maine, Orono, and a curriculum in wildlife Conservation. After receiving his B.S. degree in 1951, Bob and family moved to Logan, UT, where he completed a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management. From 1953 through 1965 he worked as a Wildlife Biologist for the VT Fish & Game (later Fish & Wildlife) Dept. developing and managing the Dead Creek Waterfowl Area and as Waterfowl Project Leader for the entire state. His work in restoring wetlands and waterfowl numbers, and establishing Vermont’s first-ever breeding populations of wild Canada geese, received recognition from the Atlantic Waterfowl council through the prized Charles Banks Belt Award in 1957 and the wildlife Conservationist-of-the-year Award from the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Club in 1969. The international Wildlife Society recognized him as a Certified Wildlife Biologist in 1982 and the Northeast Section of the Wildlife Society honored him in 1988 with its highest recognition, the John Pearce Memorial Award for outstanding professional achievements.
Bob joined the faculty of the University of VT in January 1966, developing a Wildlife Management Concentration within the Department of Forestry. He became first Chairman of the Wildlife and Fisheries Biology Program when the UVM School of Natural Resources evolved in 1974. By action of the UVM Board of Trustees, Acting President Thomas Salmon conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws on him at UVM Commencement exercises in 1992.
Bob retired from UVM on December 31, 1988, but continued as Emeritus Professor to teach an occasional class in his area of expertise and to serve on University committees. He was one of two honorees for significant contributions to waterfowl conservation in Vermont at a special 25-year Vermont Ducks Unlimited Banquet in 1994.
Bob was a faithful and dedicated member, a past master and Secretary of Dorchester Lodge No. 1, F&AM, Vergennes, VT, a 32nd degree Mason of the Scottish Rite Bodies, Vermont Consistory, and a member of Cairo Temple, A.A.O.N.O.M.S. His dedication was recognized by presentation of the honorary John Barney Medal in 2002.
Bob loved canoeing, square dancing, quiet walks with Bev, and touring many national wildlife refuges. Bob was also an ardent hunter and fly fisherman.
Bob was predeceased by his wife, Beverly and by his sister, Alice Wright of White River Jct., VT.
He is survived by his three daughters, Patricia and husband Stewart Marsh of Ferrisburg, VT; Robin and husband Ralph Torrey, Jr. of Waltham, VT; and Kathryn Fuller of Vergennes, VT; five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren; one brother Francis Fuller and wife Olive of Keene, NH; one brother-in-law, Richard Barden and wife Rosalie of Gorham, ME and several nieces and nephews.
Bob’s family wishes to express their love and extreme gratitude to all of Bobâ€™s caregivers. Their dedication, caring, compassion and love guided us all through a very difficult time.
A celebration of life will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Vergennes Congregational Church on Water Street in Vergennes. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Addison County Home Health & Hospice, PO Box 754, Middlebury, VT.