Jeanne Fulford, 95, formerly of Barrington

Posted 9/30/19

Jeanne (Heckman) Fulford, born in Atlantic City, NJ, and raised in Bridgeton, NJ; a long-term resident of Barrington and Swansea, Mass., and for the past 11 years a resident of Greenspring Retirement …

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Jeanne Fulford, 95, formerly of Barrington


Jeanne E. (Heckman) Fulford, born in Atlantic City, NJ, and raised in Bridgeton, NJ; a long-term resident of Barrington, and Swansea, Mass., and for the past 11 years a resident of Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield, Va., died peacefully there on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, at the age of 95 with family by her side.

Jeanne leaves two sons, Steven E. Fulford and his wife Gail of Marietta, Ga., and Robert L. Fulford and his wife Nancy of Manchester, Mass.; six grandchildren - Brandon, Derek, David, Harrison, Thomas and Susan Fulford; and eight great-grandchildren. Jeanne also leaves her nephew, Edward Grein and his wife Randa and their children Lucas and Karah, and her niece, Lynn Brown, her son Alex, his wife Cindy and their two children. Lynn was a constant companion to Jeanne during her days in Virginia. 

Ever the teacher, Jeanne commissioned a book entitled “A Dove in the Kitchen” which documented the robust history of the Heckman and Fulford families, as well as a memoir that informs the reader of the strong minded, self-sufficient mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend that Jeanne was. She shared a life message for her family on the first page of the book with the lyrics of the song “I Hope You Dance."

To call Jeanne an achiever would be an understatement. An athlete and a lover of math in high school, Jeanne attended Alfred University, where she was one of 500 women from throughout the US selected to serve the war effort as a Curtiss Wright Engineering Cadet, working as a draftsman in the C46 and P40 airplane hydraulics department. After the war she completed her degree in liberal arts with a math concentration at Penn State University and went on to work for Delaval Steam Turbine Co. in Trenton NJ, where she met the love of her life and husband of 30 years, Earle H. Fulford, who predeceased her in 1978. Earle’s career with Fram Corporation based in East Providence, took them to Ann Arbor, Mich., and Tulsa, Okla., but always returning to live in Barrington.

Jeanne did not remarry, but instead chose sharing her teaching talent in American International Schools in Lisbon, Portugal and La Paz, Bolivia, and travel that included an around the world cruise on the QE II. Prior to these adventures, Jeanne earned her MEd in 1974 from Rhode Island College and taught at Mary C. Wheeler School in Providence, and Roger Williams University in Bristol. She continued to promote the love of math right up to her death by being a volunteer tutor for students who worked at Greenspring, an activity for which she earlier volunteered in Providence, to help unwed mothers complete their GED.

Adventure, travel, and combined with community activism, were other loves of Jeanne. With great pride, she would be happy to tell you that she met President Jimmy Carter on an Elderhostel trip in Plains, Ga., building homes for the poor, to teaching Hopi and Navajo children in Arizona. Jeanne was a long standing and active member of Barrington Congregational Church where she was active on many committees including the Social Action Committee, to which she was particularly connected, and she was selected to represent the Congregational Churches of RI at the first Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil. Among other environmental and “social causes” in which Jeanne was actively involved included the Swansea Conservation Commission and Land Trust, Save the Bay, Mothers Against the War (Vietnam), and Earth Day. 

Family and friends were always amazed that Jeanne had time for a range of other activities including tennis, square dancing, boating and membership in the Barrington Yacht Club, jogging, walking (and picking up all the trash in her path), playing bridge both socially and competitively, watching sports of all kinds, and sharing time with a wide range of friends, always enjoying ice cream along the way! Jeanne was an active member of the Barrington YMCA, and served on the board of directors and building committee there, as well as at the state level, and on the International Board of Directors. She was a regular participant in the Barrington YMCA’s Road Runner Club and established the Earle H Fulford Fitness Testing Center there.

There will be a memorial service for immediate family at Greenspring. Jeanne’s contributions on both a local and global level were many. If you would like to support Jeanne’s interests and work, kindly make contributions in her memory to any one of the following:

Bayside Family YMCA 

Building Fund Gift

70 West Street

Barrington, RI 02806

Barrington Congregational Church, UCC 

Social Action Committee 

461 County Road 

Barrington, RI 02806

Greenspring Village Philanthropy Office

Student Scholarship Fund

7410 Spring Village Drive

Springfield, VA 22150

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