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Reed C. Fulton

Date of Death: April 3, 2016

Date of Birth: August 15, 1921

Biography:

GEORGETOWN, ME – Reed C. Fulton died at his home here April third. He was 94. Born August 15th, 1921 in Wilmington Delaware, he grew up alternately in Wrentham Massachusetts and Rangeley Maine. He was a soldier, a Boy Scout and a Mason, as well as a Golden Eagle and Life Member of the National Rife Association. Prior to World War II, he worked as a night foreman at Winter Brothers Company, a tool and die maufacturer in Wrentham. When he learned that married men were being drafted, he abandoned his draft deferment and left Winter Brothers for the Army. A Sergeant in command of a tank company in WWII, he saw action in Europe in the United States Third and Seventh Armies and, at the end of the war, participated in General George S. Patton's rescue in Austria of the Royal Lippizaner Stallions from advancing Soviet troops. He wrote in a letter home, “I am glad it is over here, but I would not trade the experience I have had for anything in the world.” When asked about that quote a few months ago, he said, “Yeah: I still feel that way, today.” A grateful cavalryman, he also commented, “Stay away from any outfit that has to walk to work.” Following the war, he was given a belated field commission as a Captain. After leaving the Army, he returned to his job as a diemaker at Winter Brothers and later operated the machine shop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's college of chemical engineering, teaching students to operate machine tools to manufacture the test apparatus they needed for their theses. During his time at MIT, he was intimately involved in the development of hydrazine - then not yet recognized as a fuel for spacecraft – as a torpedo fuel in highly-classified research for the U.S. Navy. He spent decades as a Boy Scout leader, and between that function and his years at MIT, he exerted a positive influence on the lives of countless young boys and men and women as they grew to adulthood. A consummate autodidact, Reed studied a dizzying variety of disciplines and excelled at all of them. With the help of his Wrentham scouts, he built a fire engine for them from a surplus military truck, then taught them to use it. The engine, complete with Boy Scouts and Reed, were quickly absorbed into the Wrentham Fire Department and used to positive effect in fighting forest fires. It was the beginning of Reed's lifelong passion for fire science. He bought a war surplus torpedo retrieval boat, converted it to a utility boat, and gave countless Boy Scouts work experience and both seamanship and gunkholing experience that would last them a lifetime. Reed and his Scouts successfully retrieved a large number of unmoored vessels from the Massachusetts coast following a hurricane and returned them to their yards for repair. Following his retirement from MIT, Reed moved to Georgetown in 1972. He joined the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department and enriched that organization with his encyclopedic knowledge of firefighting. The Department benefitted from his close ties with the Wrentham and other Massachusetts fire departments. He served as Chief of the Georgetown Department for ten years. After stepping down as Chief, he continued to serve as First Deputy Chief and Forest Fire Warden for fourteen more years. He leaves behind a nephew and two nieces in Ohio, his cat, Mister Watson (an alumnus of Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick), a large succession of devoted former Boy Scouts, and an even larger group of friends who (though Reed would be quick to dismiss the thought) feel privileged to have known and loved him. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Reed requested donations be made to Coastal Humane Society, 30 Range Road, Brunswick ME 04011.

 

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