ELLSWORTH – Elizabeth, better known as Betty, died March 17, 2014, in Bangor. She was born June 26, 1915, in Landau, India. She was the daughter of the Rev. Doctor Sylvanus M. Gillam and Caroline Ewing Gillam. Her parents were doing missionary work.
After her mother’s death in 1922 the family moved back to America where they resided in the Dickeyville area of Baltimore. She has family roots in Ohio as well. Betty graduated in 1937 from The College of Wooster located in Ohio. She went on to attend Bouve College in Boston where in 1940 she earned a Masters Degree in Physical Education/Physical Therapy. While at Bouve she served as class president. She married attorney Atherton Fuller in 1941. They resided in Holliston, Mass., while Athy worked in Boston at Nutter, McClennen, & Fish law firm. The Fullers moved to Ellsworth Falls, Maine in 1949 so that Athy could start his private law practice in Ellsworth. Their caravan from Boston included Caroline, Cindy, Nancy, and Wally. Soon after son David was born In Bangor. Mr. Fuller later joined the law firm of Hale and Hamlin in Ellsworth. Betty moved to the Woodlands in Waterville after Athy’s death in 1998. Dearly known as “Betty Boop” everyone adored her smile, friendliness, laughter, and grace. She struggled with her dementia in her later years but kept her personality. Betty died at Westgate Manor in Bangor on March 17, 2014, where she received excellent care. Betty lived her life to the fullest sharing joy, love, and laughter with her family, friends, and community. She was active in many local groups including the First Congregational Church of Ellsworth as both a Deacon and a member of the Board of Trustees. She wore many hats there and especially enjoyed the church family activities. She was on the original Board that founded the current Ellsworth YMCA. She was a member of the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the Eastern Star, and several other charitable organizations.
Betty was a vibrant and fun loving person who endeared herself quickly to anyone that met her. She took great pleasure in nature and always enjoyed the many activities offered by her adopted state of Maine. She loved skiing, golfing, canoeing, hiking, camping, dancing, fishing and swimming. She also played the piano and dabbled with painting in her earlier years. She loved gardening and watching the birds in her backyard. She delighted in watching the squirrels do acrobatics trying to steal from the birds. She enjoyed watching the sporting and music events of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. What gave Betty the most joy was raising her five children. While at times raising five children could be chaotic she survived with her sense of humor intact. Many stories can be told about the frequent gatherings of family and friends at her camp on Donnells Pond in Franklin. There she taught her grandchildren and others how to catch minnows, frogs, and fish. Her legacy to her family will be to live life with grace, dignity, joy, kindness and love.
Betty, affectionately known to her family as “Mimi” is survived by her five children, Caroline and Bruce Hutchinson of Waterville, Cindy and Bill Libby of Sidney, Nancy and Bruce Cameron of Trenton, Wally and Marta Fuller of Lakeport, Calif., and David Fuller and his partner, Jack Dyville, of Guttenberg, N.J.; 10 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at Jordan Fernald Funeral Home, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth. Refreshments will be served immediately after the service where family and friends can gather and share stories. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that you make donations to the Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary, 289 High St., Ellsworth, ME 04605. Interment will be at Woodbine Cemetery, Ellsworth, later this spring. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.