Del Fulgham turned 100 years old on July 20, 2019. Photo: Elaine Reich

Okanagan 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 on July 20 of this year—and threw a proper party to celebrate. Close to 50 relatives 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, Alberta 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 Springfield, Alberta in 1939, where they rented out 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 December 7. Fulgham was then training at the Canadian Army (basic) Training Centre in Camrose, Alberta, 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, who was his wife for 65 years.

Fulgham served as a private with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps for two years during the war’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 BC Champions.

Fulgham’s wife Ida passed away in 2005. “She is sadly missed and fondly remembered,” says Fulgham’s daughter Elaine 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.

Only 0.02 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

Just Posted

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

UPDATE: Non-suspicious Peachland house fire sends two to hospital

The fire broke out early Saturday morning, two occupants were sent to hospital for smoke inhalation

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Paddleboard festival coming soon to Kalamalka Lake

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but conditions look better this summer

Good morning bats! Salmon Arm office receives surprise visit by winged critters

Pair of bats found huddled together on wall in the sun outside downtown office

Most Read