Harrison A. Fuller, 91, educator in city schools

July 01, 1999|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun Staff

Harrison Anderson Fuller, an educator and counselor who taught in Baltimore public schools for 28 years, died Friday after surgery at St. Agnes HealthCare. He was 91.

The 40-year Northwest Baltimore resident began teaching science in 1949 at the old General Vocational School No. 452, then an all-black vocational school at Biddle and McCulloh streets.

The school later merged with the Granville T. Woods Junior and Senior High School.

"He was an excellent teacher and had a wonderful rapport with the children," said William E. Griggs, who taught mathematics at the school and had been a friend for nearly 50 years.

"He projected a fatherly image and was kind and patient with his students. He really was a cool and kind man," said Mr. Griggs, who lives in Baltimore.

An enthusiastic and innovative teacher, Mr. Fuller sought to expand the horizon of his students by taking them on day trips to New York and Washington, where they visited museums and historic sights.

He also enjoyed leading his students on field trips to gather flora and fauna specimens, which were later displayed in their classroom.

"He really enjoyed creating extra experiences for his students, and he was always receiving letters from places like the National Gallery of Art in Washington praising their behavior," Mr. Griggs said.

"He was always very popular with his students. They remembered him, and if they saw him in a restaurant or on the street, they'd come up and speak with him," said his daughter, Arzella Stevenson of Baltimore.

In 1967, he became tenured as a secondary school counselor in the city's Division of Guidance and Placement and served as principal that year of a work-oriented summer school.

At his retirement in 1977, he was awarded a certificate of merit by the public schools administration.

Born and raised in Huntington, W.Va., Mr. Fuller was a graduate of Douglass High School there. He studied at West Virginia College in Institute, W.Va.

Before moving to Baltimore in 1941 to work at Fort Holabird during World War II, Mr. Fuller worked as a chauffeur, bank porter and chicken farmer.

He earned his bachelor's degree in science from then-Morgan State College in 1949 and a master's degree from New York University in 1952.

He was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and received his 40-year plaque in 1973. He was Phi Omega chapter "Man of the Year" in 1976 and had served as chapter treasurer for several years. He also was a member of The Men and The O'Nose, two local social clubs.

He enjoyed singing and had been a member and treasurer for years of East Baltimore's Olde Towne Singers, a gospel group. He also liked playing pinochle, fishing and travel.

He was a member of Union Baptist Church in West Baltimore, where he was church treasurer for 45 years, sang with the senior choir and was active in the Welcome Circle. He was named the church's "Man of the Year" in 1988.

He was married to the former Salome Evelyn Ruth Adams, also a school teacher, in 1952. She died in 1984.

Services for Mr. Fuller will be held at noon today at Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Ave.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Fuller is survived by a grandson, Sabastian Duane Stevenson of Baltimore; and several nephews and nieces.

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