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Samuel J Jr Fullen

Posted 2018-01-12 by Molly
Samuel J. Fullen Jr.

Eastern Arizona Courier (Safford, AZ) - Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Samuel J. Fullen Jr., or "Sammy" as he was affectionately known by all, of Loma Linda, went to be with the Lord early Friday morning, April 24, 2015, at the Northwest Medical Center in Tucson, following a lengthy illness. He was 71.

Deacon Sam was born Dec. 3, 1943, in Douglas. He was raised by his father, Sam Sr., and his stepmother, Rosemary Fullen. Sam became fluent in Spanish while spending summers in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, with his step-grandparents. When Sam was 8 years old, he fell in love with Sheila. It was love at first sight. At first, 8-year-old Sheila wasn't interested, but their friendship grew into love. Sam graduated from Douglas High School, and after attending Cochise College, Sam and Sheila were married. He attended the University of Arizona and achieved a Bachelor of Science in biology. During that time, Sam started a family and raised two sons, Sammy III and Shawn Andrew. Following his studies, they settled back in Douglas and Sam taught biology at Douglas High School. In 1973, he obtained work teaching high school science in Brisbane, Australia, for three years. After conceiving twin girls, Laurisa and Glenys, he and Sheila moved back to Arizona, where Sam attended Northern Arizona University briefly to achieve a master's degree. Shortly after attending NAU, Sam was hired by Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation in Morenci in 1976, where he worked as an analytical chemist until retirement.

In 1977, Sam designed and started building an energy-efficient underground house in Loma Linda, which took many years to build but eventually became home.

On June 8, 1996, after four years of study at Regina Cleri Seminary, he was ordained a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. Deacon Sam lovingly served the Lord and the Church until he passed away.

Sam is survived by: his two sons, Sammy Fullen III (Brandy), of Round Valley, and Shawn Andrew Fullen, of Marana; his twin daughters, Laurisa Laws (David), of Marana, and Glenys Fullen, of San Diego; and 12 grandchildren.

Sam loved teaching about Jesus's love, building things, hunting white-tailed bucks, bull elk and catching fish with his kids.

A Mass of Christian burial for Deacon Sam will be celebrated Thursday afternoon, April 30, 2015, at 4:30 p.m., at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Morenci by Rev. Bardo Fabian Antunez. Committal will follow in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, where Deacon Sam will be laid to rest next to his wife, Sheila, who preceded him in death July 28, 2000. Serving as pallbearers will be Sammy Fullen III, Shawn Fullen, David Laws, Craig Fullen, Hunter Fullen, Frankie Montoya. Honorary pallbearers are Danny Carasco, Raleigh Fullen, and Isidoro Cabarga.

The family will receive friends Thursday afternoon from 3 p.m. until 4:15 p.m., also at the Holy Cross Catholic Church.

Online condolences may be offered at

Arrangements are entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.

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