Rev. Harold Fuller brought comfort through faith, baking
For nearly three decades, retired Rev. Harold Fuller was known for providing physical and spiritual comfort at Gresham's Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center through his delicious, hand-made pies.
The longtime Gresham resident and retired minister was beloved within the community, and among his friends and neighbors alike. He was supportive of local businesses, a common sight at charity events and was always quick with a smile.
Fuller passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, April 14.
Born on August 10, 1931, in Palestine, Illinois, Fuller grew up in a household full of children. He attended Eastern Illinois University to complete his undergraduate studies, which is where he met his future wife, Elizabeth "Beth" Fuller. The couple would go on to celebrate almost 60 years of marriage, before Beth passed away in 2012 a few days shy of their anniversary.
After two years of seminary school in his home state, Fuller moved to Portland to complete his final year. Faith was an important part of his life, which was dedicated to serving God and helping others. He would often introduce himself as a "Roving Pastor," because he would be wherever he was needed.
The family lived in Sandy in the early 1960s before settling in Gresham in 1984.
Fuller pastored at three churches between 1956 to 1979, before transitioning into chaplaincy at Legacy Mount Hood. He spent 29 years at the hospital, providing comfort and, of course, his legendary pies.
He baked at least once a week for fellow staff members, who happily traded him fruit for a homemade pie. He loved surprising people on their birthdays with tasty treats, and would also give pies to families awaiting news in the intensive care unit, which was on the same floor as his office.
"I always take a pie to holiday dinners," Fuller told Outlook staff during the newspaper's annual holiday baking contest a few years ago. "I can't get in the door if I don't have one in my hands."
Fuller was happy to have won that contest in 2017. He said he would use the prize money to buy more fruit and give away more pies. The trick to Fuller's delicious pies was his secret crust recipe, which came from his mother. His crust recipe wasn't really secret because he was happy to share it with anyone who asked.
Fuller was also an active member with the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce, where he served as an ambassador, a group of chamber members who help people feel welcome and comfortable at various events. The month before he passed away, he was the emcee for the Chamber's meetings, which made for a fun time for all. Fuller had a strong sense of humor, and loved to laugh.
Chamber CEO Lynn Snodgrass met Fuller when she served on the Mount Hood Medical Center Foundation. Their friendship lasted for decades.
"He had purpose in whatever he was doing — he was a constant," Snodgrass said. "He was one of those people you would gravitate toward."
Fuller is survived by his daughters, Kimberly and Caryn, sister Donna, brothers Kenneth, Robert and Leon, four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
A service for Fuller will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 26, at Grace Community Church, 800 S.E. Hogan Road. A reception will follow the service.
Gresham Memorial Chapel is handling funeral arrangements.
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