Del Fulgham turned 100 years old on July 20, 2019. (Photo - Elaine Reich)

Vernon man celebrates 100th birthday

Del Fulgham reached his 100th birthday on July 20 of this year and threw a proper party to celebrate

On July 20, 1919, Alberta farmers Irven and Carolyn Fulgham had a son.

A century later — through the Great Depression and the Second World War — Del Fulgham is still going strong.

Fulgham reached his 100th birthday this year and threw a proper party to celebrate as close to 50 relatives and friends came together in Vernon (where he’s spent his retirement years) to welcome him to the centenarian club.

It’s been a storied 10 decades of life. Fulgham’s second daughter, Elaine Reich, helps to tell the story.

Born in Provost, Alta., as his parents’ second of five children, Fulgham enjoyed working in the fresh farmland air in his hard-working teenage years, when the Great Depression was in full, debilitating force.

Fulgham and his family moved to the small town of Springdale, Alta., in 1939, where they rented four quarters of land and continued to farm.

In December 1941 the Second World War was well underway — the U.S. had by then declared war on Japan following the Pearl Harbour attack of Dec. 7.

Fulgham was then training at the Canadian Army (basic) Training Centre in Camrose, Alta., where he later became a staff member.

READ MORE: Japanese Canadian recounts life in B.C. internment camp

READ MORE: Holocaust survivor remembers Auschwitz on her 92nd birthday

Fulgham was conscripted into the army in 1943 — the same year he married Ida E. Allenbrand, his wife for 62 years.

Fulgham served as a private with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps for two years during WWII’s climax, attending to wounded soldiers in Maidenhead, England.

When the war was over he travelled on the overcrowded HMT Mauretania back home, where his wife and two-year-old daughter were waiting for him.

In 1983, Fulgham retired and moved to Vernon, where he currently resides.

He was involved for many years in volunteer work with various groups, including the National Association of Federal Retirees (NAFR) and the Heritage Club of Postal Workers.

He also stayed active by joining a senior bowling team that took him bowling in various leagues in the province and helping the Okanagan Mainline men’s team of “Golden Agers” to earn the title of B.C. Champions.

Fulgham’s wife Ida passed away in 2005.

“She is sadly missed and fondly remembered,” said Reich.

During their years together the couple enjoyed exploring Canada, travelling throughout Alberta on the province’s 75th birthday in 1980, and making trips to Niagara Falls and Haida Gwaii. They also travelled to the U.S. to see the Grand Canyon, and made it to Hawaii.

Only .02 per cent of Canadians live to be 100 according to figures from the 2016 Census, making Del Fulgham one of roughly 8,000 centenarians living in Canada today.

If you see him around town, remember to wish him a happy belated.


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Over Zoom, Armstrong council seeks new meeting space

BRIEFS: Centennial Auditorium under consideration as council looks to resume open meetings

Fundraiser launched for Enderby drive-in

Vernon resident seeks to raise $20K to save Starlight Drive-In

Duck nests at Vernon drive-thru

Mother has hatched four ducklings just inches from the steady stream of vehicles

North and Central Okanagan on flood watch

Kalamalka Lake users are asked to take measure to reduce the risk… Continue reading

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Central Okanagan schools ready to welcome students back

Students are set to go back to school next Monday, June 1

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

Council initially deferred its decision on the project in March

Most Read