Jody Fullerton lived comfortably in her Paso Robles apartment when a fall led to medical complications, which brought about her death on January 2, 2021. In recent years she had been in fine physical health and in good spirits.
Roberta Joan “Jody” Fullerton (née Weiler) was born in the small farm town of Wanatah, Indiana, on April 16, 1927. While her mother worked in the “big” city of Chicago, their grandparents raised Jody, her older brother, and younger sister. Growing up in a small midwestern town during the depression made a lasting impact on Jody. She lived her life with frugality and a distaste for a highfalutin’ propensity that was, in most cases, welcomed by her family. As a young girl, Jody was a bit of a tomboy and enjoyed playing sports with her brother and his friends. She spent her summers swimming in the local creek and her school years attending 1st through 12th grades in the one school in town where she graduated from High School in 1945 in a class of 12 students.
After High School, with no prospects for a career in Wanatah, Jody heeded the call of some of her hometown friends. In 1948 Jody boarded a train and headed to LA, where she soon got a job downtown as an elevator operator. In the evenings, she took classes at LA City College studying art. As fate would have it, her future husband (and fellow penny-pincher) Jack Fullerton worked in the same building as an insurance salesman. After an arranged date at the beach by a mutual friend, they soon began dating, and in 1950 they were married.
The newly married couple was soon able to purchase a new house in Burbank, CA. In late 1951 their first child, Jessica, was born, followed by Susan in 1953, John in 1955, and Ridgely in 1957. As her family quickly grew, Jody relished her role as mother and homemaker. She was involved in her children’s actives including Blue Birds, Campfire Girls, Indian Guides, Cub Scouts, Sunday School, and school PTA.
In 1958, no doubt inspired by Jody’s small-town upbringing, the couple purchased a small cabin in the mountain community of Frazier Park, CA. In partnership with Jack, Jody immediately began work turning the run-down structure into a cozy retreat, a project that seemed to be a never-ending source of joy for her. Encouraged by her frugal childhood, Jody never made a single new purchase regarding the cabin; every piece of furniture, decoration, or appliance was either homemade or acquired second-hand. When it came to acquiring second-hand items, Jody was a pro. It could be said that Jody’s greatest passion (next to her family) was browsing garage sales and thrift shops (which she called “junk stores”). Truth be told, a trip to the Frazier Park dump was looked upon as a “shopping” opportunity.
In 1963 the birth of a 5th child, Peter, prompted a move to a larger home in Glendale. The move seemed only to escalate Jody’s homemaker instincts. She and Jack continued their relentless crusade of building rather than buying. Projects eventually included a puppet theater, a playhouse, a two-story spaceship, a treehouse, and children’s furniture, among many other projects.
When her children moved away to college, Jody began to explore her love of sports when she and Jack began volunteering on weekends as track and field officials at meets throughout Southern California. By 1990 with all five of her children out of the house and Jack retired, the couple moved to Ojai, CA. There Jody began to do volunteer work in her new community as a clerk at the local charity thrift shop (naturally). A calling that brought her much joy. Jody also continued her artistic interests by taking art classes and creating her own illustrations and greeting cards.
In her last years, Jody moved to Paso Robles, CA, to be closer to her eldest daughter Jessica. Jody passed away with her children by her side and left many wonderful creations and beautiful memories. Jody is survived by her five children: Jessica of Paso Robles, CA, Susan of Phoenix, AZ, John of San Gregorio, CA, Ridgely of Cambria, CA, and Peter of Reseda, CA, and one grandson Will. She was preceded in death by her brother Jack, her sister Pat, and her loving and devoted husband Jack in 2013. A memorial is planned for October 2021, pandemic permitting.