Donald Simpson Fuller

November 18, 1930 - January 9, 2008

11/18/1930 - 01/09/2008

Past Services

Wednesday January 09, 2008
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Virginia Beach
5792 Greenwich Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
800-934-4648 | Directions
Monday January 14, 2008
2:00 pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Virginia Beach
5792 Greenwich Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
800-934-4648 | Directions

Donald S. Fuller

VIRGINIA BEACH- Donald Simpson Fuller, LCDR USN, Retired November 18, 1930-January 9, 2008.

Donald Fuller departed from this world on January 9, 2008 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was in his home surrounded by his family. He was a devout Catholic and a parish member of St. Gregory the Great. He was a humble man who never spoke of his accomplishments, but those who knew and loved him were aware of what a remarkable life he had led.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he was the son of a race horse trainer who spent his childhood moving from race track to race track until he entered the U.S Navy at the age of seventeen. It was in serving his country that he finally felt that he had a home. While on duty in Washington, D.C. he met his beautiful bride and best friend of fifty two years, Patsy D. Fuller. The bond they shared was so strong that they were as one rather than two separate people. Patsy will cherish his memory until they are together again forever.

In 1967 they moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia with their only son Patrick and settled down for good. Donald retired from the Navy in 1971 and went to work for a defense contractor until he completed his Master’s Degree in Education. He was a teacher at both Kempsville Junior High School and Kempsville High School. He contributed to a text book on history, his passion, helped develop the advanced placement history program and won a Teacher of the Year Award. His greatest accomplishment though was the admiration of his students and fellow teachers, many of whom came to see him for years afterwards. He inspired those around him through his love of knowledge and helped many students fulfill their dream of a higher education.

He was a true patriarch for the Fuller family holding us all together while never for a moment losing the love and respect of us all. His son Patrick married his best friend Theresa and gave Donald five wonderful grandchildren to dote over. Patrick learned everything he knows about being a man from him and has tried to pass on these lessons to his children Christina, Donald, Patricia, Briana, and the youngest, Gabriel. Donald also has a great grandson Dylan. His family surrounded him in his passing much as they did in his life loving him to the end and beyond. They will miss him for the rest of their days but have been blessed with fond memories of an extraordinary man that they will carry in their hearts forever.

Godspeed Papa, we all love and miss you.

A memorial service will be held at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 5792 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach on Monday, January 14, 2008 at 2:00pm.

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dr.& mrs. wayne stroud
8 years ago

A personal note to Patsy:

dear Patsy, wayne retired in 2002, but we still miss and think about you and your family. we are so sorry to hear about Don’s passing.

You both were very special to us. love to you, joni stroud

Greg Edwards
8 years ago

As I reflect on my primary education, there are only a handful of teachers that truly stand out in my memory. Mr. Fuller is one of them. I was privileged to sit under his teaching in 1983-84 at Kempsville Junior High. He commanded respect and discipline while maintaining a warm and humorous appeal. It is his love of history and his humor that I remember most. He was fond of saying, “Wheeeew Boy!” and “I don’t care if you worship the Great Acorn in the parking lot…” His fun-loving style and his passion for the material endeared him to many, including me. Mr. Fuller laid an important cornerstone in my educational foundation and I am forever in his debt. I know his legacy as a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather will live on for generations. His legacy as a teacher is in the lives of those who were changed. Matthew 25:23

Shannon Thompson
8 years ago

Dear Briana,

I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you lots. Your grandfather was a true gentleman and I appreciated so much that he was my biggest volunteer when I had you in first grade and fourth grade. He was always willing and upbeat and I know he adored you with all his heart. That’s why he dedicated himself to your classroom once a week and to your education and happiness. You too, are a lot like him you know? You are smart and witty. You are giving and loving. I know you are proud to be his granddaughter and that you love him so much. Concentrate on the fun times that you had together so you will always remember him the way that makes you happiest.

I miss seeing you at Thalia this year. If you feel up to it, let me know how you are doing. My email address is My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as we remember your dear grandfather.


Mrs. Thompson

Bob & Lin Booth
8 years ago

Dear Fuller Family,

Bob & I are so sorry to learn of Don’s passing. The world was a better place with him in it. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Bob & Lin Booth

Joanie Wood
8 years ago

Dear Mrs. Fuller and family,

I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Fuller. He was a wonderful volunteer here at Thalia. He spent hours in our cafeteria giving children attention and making their days here a little brighter. He always had a kind word. My sympathy to you, especially to Donald and Briana. I am thinking of you.


Joanie Wood

Guidance Counselor

Thalia Elem.

Lori Nikki Koren
8 years ago

Dear Mrs. Fuller and Family,

You don’t know me but I certainly remember your husband. He was my 9th grade history teacher and until I had him as a teacher, I can honestly tell you that history was not my thing. He changed my opinion forever. Now, history is my favorite subject and I have passed along my love of it to both of my children. Due to his influence, I am also currently trying to get some historical fiction published. Thank you for sharing your husband and his love of learning with his students. Please know that our prayers are with you and your family. He will never be forgotten because his legacy will live on not only through his family but his students as well.

I apologize for the tardiness of this note, but I just received the clipping from my mother who still lives in Virginia Beach.

May Christ Give You Peace,

Nikki Koren

Lenny Kass
8 years ago

Dear Pat and Family: Please accept my sincere condolences in the passing of your father. What wonderful memories you must have of a man who led such an exemplary life.

The Skidmore Family
8 years ago

Dear Patsy,and Family:

We all thought alot of Don. We didn’t get to know him that well but loved him liked we have known him forever. We were devistated when we found out. I know Patsy is very sad,lonely, and hurt since he passed on. We all are. He was a big part in all his grandchildrens life. We wish you all the best and we are very sorry for your tragic loss. We love you.


Janis,Binky,Mirenda,Joe,Brandon,and Christy

Sue Doss
8 years ago

Dearest Patsy:

I was so sorry to hear of Donald’s passing. He was such a nice man and it was quite evident how much he loved you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Sue

Patrick Fuller
8 years ago

Happy Father’s day dad. It’s been almost two and a half years and I still miss you so much. I made your favorite dinner tonight. Wish you were here. I love and miss you.


Marc Lisner
8 years ago


I only knew Mr. Fuller as my teacher, but I really liked him.

He made the class fun & enjoyable to learn in.

Thoughts and prayers…


Erica Bailey Woodard
8 years ago

I am so sorry for your loss, may God bless you and watch over you and your family. We miss you and hope to see you soon. Love you lots!

Eric Nachman
8 years ago

I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Fuller, he was an excellent teacher.

He was my World History teacher at Kempsville Junior High School 78/79.

I have many fond memories of his class after all these years.

I remember him talking about how gas was going to be

over $1.00 and probably would not go down. Boy was he


There are more stories I remember. He was a good man and made a difference

My sincere sympathies

Eric Nachman

Kendall Shuffler
8 years ago

I currently teach Briana and find her to be an intelligent, quiet, strong young lady! I know now from whom she must have inherited those traits! I remember Mr. Fuller from my time at Thalia! He was a valued volunteer and a treasured grandfather. My father, Bill Jenkins, was the principal at Pembroke Meadows where Mrs. Fuller taught! My heartfelt sympathies to the entire Fuller family!


Kendall Jenkins Shuffler

Kelly Hostetler Garrett
8 years ago

I had Mr. Fuller as my history teacher in the late 80’s. As with most others I knew, his class was my favorite by far. I count him as one of the few teachers during my schooling who inspired me to become a teacher myself. He was a great teacher – making history truly come alive – but he was also personally interested in each of his students. I felt that I came to know him even better, since he and I were “secret pals” for a year through the student council program.

I continued to visit him after I left KJHS, and then was lucky enough to be on the same staff with him when I returned to teach at KHS myself.

I am sorry to hear of his passing and my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.

Peg Baldwin
8 years ago

I have known Don as a colleague, but most importantly as a friend, for over thirty years. The world is a little less bright now without his presence. He touched the lives of so many – students, teachers and friends. Don is a once in a lifetime friend. There are precious few people like him. To his family, especially to Patsy, his bride, I wish for you peace and comfort.

Elaine Snyder
8 years ago

I hope that in some small way the Fuller family is comforted by knowing how many of us at Kempsville Jr. High 19781979 loved Mr. Fuller’s class. He always treated us with a great deal of respect, as if he were grooming us for adulthood, not just teaching us about “Joe Slob average peasant”. He was genuinely committed to our well being and I can’t think of a higher compliment for a teacher. I’m very sorry for your loss

Elaine Snyder

James E. Baker
8 years ago

I shared my Navy days with Don aboard the USS Los Angeles in Fox Division. Today, October 22, 2008 I learned of Don’s passing — something I feared must have happened when his computer and telephone were cut off. Patty, I wish that trip to KY & TN had worked out for us. Don was a good sailor and a good man that will be missed by many.

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal”

My deepest sympathy to all the family. James E. Baker

Cecile Flora Saunders
8 years ago

I was saddened to hear of the passing of your father Mr. Fuller. I always had nice conversations with him when he came to Thalia to volunteer. Always a pleasant gentleman, with alot to share with our students. He will be missed by all at Thalia. Goodspeed Mr. Fuller.

John Mitchell
8 years ago

I will always cherish my memories of working with Don Fuller in the Virginia Beach Schools. He was an inspirational teacher and a great guy. A whole generation of Kempsviller Junior High and Kempsville High School students owe much to his mentorship.

His passing saddens me.

Jaime Cohen Egan
8 years ago

Mr. Fuller was my 7th grade history teacher at Kempsville Middle School and then my 9th grade World History teacher at Kempsville High. He always knew just the right way to make learning about history fun, whether it be the funny way he explained things or letting us act out mock trials. He will be truly missed.

Kathy Luehman
8 years ago

Mr. Fuller was my favorite teacher in high school. He made history come alive for me and made the world a fascinating and wonderful place. I will forever remember his enthusiasm and thank God for the impact he had on my life.

Dana Weittenhiller Maurice
8 years ago

Mr. Fuller was my World History teacher at Kempsville. I fondly remember him and his outstanding classes. I was always interested in history, but he made it come alive in the way a truly passionate and wonderful teacher can. I now teach for the Va. Beach school system myself. I measure myself against the fantastic teachers I encountered during my school days. He was the best. My prayers and condolences to your family. Sincerely, Dana Weittenhiller Maurice KHS class of 1986

Scott Matheson
8 years ago

My most sincere sympathy to the entire Fuller family for your loss.

I had Mr. Fuller as a World History teacher at Kempsville Jr. High in the late 70’s. It was by far one of my favorite and engaging classes…this includes my time at Univ. of VA as well!

To this day, like Mr. Fuller, I share a passion for history. If anyone asks of my all time best classes at any level of education….and best teachers….Mr. Fuller’s class is at the top! He was not only a great teacher…but a good man…that is the impression he clearly left with me after all these years.

Thank you and God Bless.

Jennifer McKeldin Coner
8 years ago

My sincerest condolences to your family. Mr. Fuller was my history teacher at KJHS and KHS. He was a wonderful teacher and passionate about his subject. He spoke often of his bride and taught us many things you can’t read in a regular history book. He was a great person who touched many lives. I am saddened by your loss. May God bless each of you and thank you for sharing him with his students. We are forever grateful for your gift.

Betsy McCormick
8 years ago

My thoughts and prayers are with you. May your wonderful memories comfort you.

Rick LeBlanc
8 years ago


I was deeply saddened to hear the news about the death of your father.My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. I know you will miss your farher greatly. During this difficult time, I know you will draw upon your own strength and the strength of loved ones that hold you in their thoughts.

Mary Boubouheropoulos
8 years ago

Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Mr. Fuller. I had Mr. Fuller at Kempsville Junior High in the late 70’s. I absolutely loved his class. He made the material so interesting, and brought history to life for me. I not only learned valuable information, but I also learned the skills I needed to be a successful student–organization, study habits, and the ability to reason. I used to love the way he put his leg up on the desk, and bent forward and leaned to us when he spoke. His tall, lanky frame and great voice were mesmorizing. The bell would ring, and you would hear, “Awwwwww…” There is no greater compliment than that!

I can honestly say that he is one of the reasons I became a teacher and ultimately became involved in the TOPSoccer program with the VA Rush Soccer Club. I love working with kids!

His memory will live on in my heart, and I will continue to look to his words and example for inspiration.

God bless you all in your time of need. Mr. Fuller will be greatly missed.


Dianne Pezzella Kohler
8 years ago

Reading through the guest book and seeing familiar names from Kempsville Jr High helped me remember more vividly the times we spent in Mr. Fuller’s class. Mary describing how Mr. Fuller would put his foot up on the desk and lean in to talk to us was probably the strongest memory of all, along with “the Great Acorn in the parking lot”. Mr. Fuller was a kind, caring man and a TERRIFIC teacher. I still talk about him to my 11 year old when we talk about what makes a class interesting and fun. I hope she will be lucky enough to have a “Mr. Fuller” in her future classes.

My prayers and thoughts continue to be with his whole family. Know that in your grief, you are not alone. Mr Fuller was admired and respected by many. Thank you for sharing him with all of us through the years.

My prayers are with you all,

Dianne Pezzella Kohler

KJHS- late 70s

Fern Howard
8 years ago

To my sister Patsy,

Heaven is a brighter place for God has called a faithful child home.

No words can express my admiration for Don.

Patsy I will always cherish your love story. How Don walked out of the ocean and into your life, and now he will return to that same ocean. But his spirit will remain with you always. I love you Patsy may God give you Peace.

Our deepest synpathy

Fern and Jimmy Clark

Chuck & Michele McKeldin
8 years ago

To the Fuller Family:

Our deepest sympathy to all of you in your dear loss. Both of our children had classes from Mr. Fuller, and both of them often spoke of how much they received in the class from your beloved. He made the subject matter interesting, relevant and fun. To this day, both Jenny and Charlie talk about Mr. Fuller. Hopefully, your sorrow will be diminished knowing how many students Don had a positive and lasting influence upon. Some of the statements already written in the guest book are testimony to that fact. Not many teachers can say that about their careers. He was an extraordinary teacher and mentor to all of his students. He has left the academic world better for his presence and devotion. May God bless all of you for having shared him with our children.

Christine McKeever-Parkes
8 years ago

We are so saddened to hear the news about Don. He was a wonderful man and he will be missed terribly. We will always remember him walking along the beach in Salvo and talking history and politics back at the Sealoft. I will never make a trip down to Salvo again without thinking about him.

Please accept our condolonces. We wish we could be there with you all Monday.

Love From,

Christine McKeever-Parkes, Steve Parkes, Sophie and George

Shannon Cline
8 years ago

When I think about the life of my Uncle Don it refers me to the poem by Linda Ellis called the dash. You have a time of birth and a time of death and what is most important is the dash in-between. That represents your life. Uncle Don had the most honorable dash than just about anyone I knew. He was so caring, loving and understood the way others felt and treated them with exceptional respect. I will always cherish my memories of him. My deepest sympathy to his family.