Chief David Fuller, Ret.

January 19, 1950 ~ November 15, 2021 (age 71)


William David Fuller passed away Monday, November 15, 2021. He was born January19,1950 in Hamlet, North Carolina to the late Kinchin Buck and Lillie Mae Stafford Fuller.

He graduated from Hamlet High School in 1968 and later attended college at Richmond Technical College. He served his country, enlisting in the South Carolina Army National Guard in 1971 as a field artilleryman until 1975. He provided a lifetime of service to his community beginning as a volunteer and later as a paid firefighter for the City of Hamlet rising to the position of Fire Chief for the City. David later continued his service to Hamlet as a member of the Hamlet City Council. He was a member of the Second Baptist Church in Hamlet, NC.

Chief Fuller loved being a firefighter. David began at the age of 16 as a junior firefighter with the City of Hamlet. On October 1st, 1968 David’s childhood dream came true, and he became a paid firefighter with the city. In 1980 the City of Hamlet promoted David to the position of Fire Chief and served in this position until his retirement in 1996. David served for over 30 years as a firefighter for the City of Hamlet and helped countless people during some of their most trying times. Chief Fuller remained an active mentor for generations of firefighters well after retirement.

He preceded in death by his father and mother, brother Richard Eugene “Buddy” Fuller, nephew Vernon Wayne Fuller, special aunts Hazel Fuller Keeney and Gladys Fuller Hancock, cousin Mildred (Mickey) Nowell.

He is survived by his daughters Kimberly Fuller Smith (Jason) of Cornelia, Georgia; Nicole Fuller Blake (Mark)of Hamlet, North Carolina; mother of his daughters Betty Lou Skipper Fuller; brother Kinchin Wayne Fuller (Phyllis) of Hamlet. Grandchildren Rachel Kathleen Smith, Noah Mark Blake, Ava Rose Smith, and Andrew Fuller Smith, niece Leslie Fuller Greene, cousins Janice Turner (Scott), Joan McAlexander, William Hancock, adopted son Teddy Liles and many friends.

About his life:

Known by his friends as “Chief,” David was a fixture in the community. David could be regularly found at the Hamlet Hardware or Hardee’s with those that he considered a part of his extended family, and if he did not show up, you knew something was not right. If you ever needed to know anything about the history of Hamlet, Chief was the person to ask. He had more knowledge about anything Hamlet related since its very founding than you could possibly find on the internet - and if he did not know something, he had a way to find out. David knew and cared about the people in the community. He could recite from memory the family tree of nearly anyone in town. Being involved in emergency services, this became invaluable in his response to emergencies of the people whom he came to love. He could always tell a great story about the people he knew that could keep anyone entertained.

Not only was Chief a leader of the community, but he was also a loving and caring father and Papa as well. He loved his daughters and their families tremendously and was extremely proud of all of his grandchildren. Kim was his first born, being able to return from basic training just after she was born. Kim has David’s tender heart and loving nature and like her father is not too proud to shed a tear for something that touches her heart. Nicole is a carbon copy of David’s personality which caused them to but heads on a regular basis. Nicole is headstrong and a diligent worker and took great care of her daddy, even when he did not want her to. Through it all, David appreciated more than anyone could know everything Nicole did for him, though he could give her fits about it from time to time.

Known by his grandchildren by Papa, Chief was very loving, caring, and proud of each one of them. Noah was his best friend. Papa taught Noah to be a strong role model for others to see and told Noah on his last days to live for me. Rachel and Ava Rose were his heart, having raised two daughters of his own, he had a special bond with his granddaughters whose smiles could melt his heart. Rachel was his first-born grandchild and his princess. Ava Rose, affectionately known by her Papa as ‘Wormy’ always loved his light-hearted teasing. Andrew carries the Fuller name as his middle name and inherited his grandfather’s genuine caring spirit.

Never to let an opportunity go unwasted, Chief in his final days elicited the help from the Hamlet Fire Department to plan a grand detour on his way to hospice. The great men from the fire department gave him a great final tribute by allowing him to say a final goodbye to those who have meant so much to him over the years at the Hamlet Fire Department, City Hall, Hamlet Hardware, Hardee’s, and the community he loved so much. To these great men, we extend a heartfelt thank you. That ride meant more to him than you will ever know.

Your kindness and friendship to David “Chief” and his family during this challenging time will never be forgotten.

Visitation will be held at Second Baptist Church 518 4th St, Hamlet, NC 28345 Thursday November 18, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Funeral services will be held at Second Baptist Church 518 4th St, Hamlet, NC 28345 11:00 AM Friday November 19, 2021.

Memorials may be made to Hamlet Fire Rescue and EMS P.O. Box 1229 Hamlet, NC  28345     

Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are with Watson-King Funeral Home 100 Cheraw Road Hamlet, N.C.  28345 

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Mary Love Cemetery
600 High St.
Hamlet, NC 28345

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