It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our friend and colleague Larry Fullerton (BA, MA, York University), on Thursday April 18, at his home in Toronto, after a valiant battle with illness, surrounded by his loved ones. During this difficult time, we keep in our thoughts Professor Fullerton’s wife Anna Wycher, as well as his daughter Rhian and his extended family.
Born on December 22, 1946 in Willowdale, Professor Fullerton started at Ryerson University (Ryerson Polytechnic Institute at that time) after a job interview that, he recalled, involved little more than a vigorous chat over a cup of coffee. Over the years, he taught a diverse range of courses, but was happiest with those that were related to tourism and recreation studies. Outside the classroom, service to Ryerson included his position for many years as coach of the women’s badminton team.
A retired member of the Canadian Forces with 44 years of service, Professor Fullerton was able to combine two of his passions, geography and battlefields, in research projects that involved putting his knowledge of geolocation to use in researching the background of all infantry members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Few of us were given the opportunity to witness his talents as a musician, but he was a gifted and well respected bag-piper and percussionist. Widely recognized for his role as the long-time drum-major with the 48th Highlanders of Canada, he held the rank of Master Warrant Officer. Over many years, he contributed to the evolution of the Canadian National Exhibition in his capacity as a programmer for and director of numerous musical productions. Larry’s commitment to community was further evident in the generous support he lent to Variety Village which works with young people who experience disabilities and developmental barriers.
For his many accomplishments and honour, Larry was awarded Commemorative Medals for the Silver and Golden Jubilees of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
Professor Fullerton was highly appreciated by colleagues at Ryerson and beyond for his true collegiality, for his capacity always to derive enjoyment from circumstance and for a well-developed and often self-deprecating sense of humour. Larry often mused that on his first day of teaching in 1969, he was prevented, because of his youthful appearance, from using an elevator that at the time was reserved for faculty alone.
A celebration of life ceremony will be held on June 1 with details to follow.