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Alton mourns for Selectman Pat Fuller

Longtime board member passed away unexpectedly on July 11

July 20, 2011
ALTON — The town of Alton lost a key contributor when Pat Fuller, a member on the Board of Selectmen, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, July 11.

Fuller, who was 54 years old at the time of her passing, was employed in the private sector during her life and worked in healthcare, legal, transportation and education. But she started her career in the town government by serving as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustments.

Fuller, who lived in Alton for the past 21 years, served as the chairperson and vice-chairperson during her time on the board.

She also served on various town committees including the budge committee and helped support the revitalization of down town including the construction of the B & M Railroad Park.

She also served as a member on the coalition of donor towns and worked with other local officials to eliminate the statewide donor program.

Fuller was born in York, Maine and was raised in West Newbury, Mass.

She graduated from Pentucket Regional High School in 1975 and went on to University of Lowell, where she graduated in 1979 with a degree in criminal justice.

Fuller was a member of the Farmington Fish and Game Club and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 16, at the First Freewill Baptist Church in New Durham to celebrate Fuller's life.

Chairman Dave Hussey read a letter on behalf of the board of selectmen during a meeting on Monday, July 18, expressing condolences to Fuller's family members.

Hussey talked about Fuller's dedication to the job and that she rarely missed a meeting, even with her job in the private sector.

Hussey said that the Fuller was an advocate for many causes and that replacing her on the board will be a challenge.

"The board will certainly miss her expertise," Hussey said.

Fuller had been serving on the board of selectmen for nearly 10 years, and Russ Bailey, the town administrator, believes she was key member on the board.

"She has been a great asset, going on 10 years," Bailey said. "We will miss her, and she was a great asset to the board and to the community.

Steve McMahon, who has been working with Fuller the longest, came on the board one year before Fuller started her time on the board.

"She did a lot for the community. She was very dedicated to the job," McMahon said. "She really cared for the town, and it's a very unfortunate thing. I feel very sad for the family. To lose your mother at 54 is a very tough thing."

Selectman Peter Bolster feels that Fuller brought a lot to the table with her understanding of how the town operated.

"She had a real sense of how the way things need to be done in a proper manner," Bolster said. "She had a real sense of concern for the community."

With Fuller serving 10 years on the board, she knew how certain issues were addressed in the past.

"Her knowledge of the community and of the past decisions and how the various ordinances were passed was key," Bolster said. "It's very important to have someone with that kind of institutional memory."

Vice-chairperson Loring Carr knows the board won't be the same without Fuller.

"As well as serving with her, I was her friend," Carr said. "She had a good old New England conservative view."

Replacing Fuller after her passing unexpectedly will definitely be a challenge.

"I don't know if people realize how many hours she spent over the years," Carr added. "We are certainly going to miss her."

In the coming weeks, the board of selectmen will be looking for someone to replace Fuller on the board, most likely someone who has previously served on the board.

That person will fill Fuller's spot until the end of the year. Her seat will then be open and a new member will be elected for a two-year term in March of 2012.

Fuller gained statewide attention when she came forward after being physically and sexually assaulted in her home during a break-in back in November of 2009.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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