Ron Fulfer was a man who wanted to be a cop ever since he was a kid. He achieved that dream, with more than three decades in law enforcement over the course of his career.
Fulfer died at 55 on Nov. 19, and will be honored with a memorial service at the Moriarty Civic Center on Dec. 11 at noon.
The farewell “final call” procession will be the same day, with line-up at the Civic Center at 9:45 a.m. The procession will take him to all of the offices he worked for in Torrance County: the Mountainair Police Department, Estancia Police Department, Torrance County Sheriff’s Department, and Moriarty Police Department.
In addition, he worked in Lincoln County and in Chama as a police officer.
His brother Dennis Fulfer is Mountainair’s town clerk, and said one of his proudest moments was swearing Ron in as a police officer in Mountainair, where he ended his career.
“He was always kind of like a hero to me in many ways,” said Dennis Fulfer of his older brother. “I always looked up to him. What affected me directly is how he was with his boys, Dillon and Dustin. He was passionately devoted to those kids, and taught me how to be a dad myself.
“Being a cop was one of his passions,” Dennis Fulfer said, adding that even as a kid, when Ron got a model or Hot Wheels car, “he would get clay and modify it,” like putting “police lights on top of the Camaro. Everything sort of drifted toward that police persona.”
Ron was living in Moriarty with his aunt and uncle. He had graduated high school and served a stint in the U.S. Navy.
He was working at the sod farm and saw a job opening at the Moriarty Police Department and applied for it, Dennis Fulfer said.
After his interview he didn’t hear back right away, and decided to abandon his dream of being a police officer in Moriarty and head back to California.
He was near San Diego when the engine on his car blew, his brother said. As he was being towed to San Diego, he got the call that he had the job—so after spending a few days in California, Ron headed back to Moriarty, where he started his career in law enforcement, “almost like destiny,” his brother said.
“I might be prejudiced, but you couldn’t ask for a better guy, all around,” said his aunt, Sandy Fulfer. “He hardly lost his temper. I mean, he had to really be pushed to lose his cool—he was able to maintain and be professional in his career.”
She continued, “When he loved you, he loved you and he would do anything to help you. I think he was awesome and I wish I was more like him. He loved his family—all of us.”
His aunt said Ron was also known for his chuckle. “No one else had that chuckle. When you heard that chuckle, you knew it was funny.”
“I’ve known Ron Fulfer as long as I can remember,” Mountainair Mayor Peter Nieto said. “He loved his job. He did it for so long, and he did it well. He knew what he was doing. … It’s going to leave a pretty big gap. Everybody knew Ron Fulfer.”
Another person with a long history with Ron Fulfer was Shelley Seale of Moriarty. “Ron grew up with my son-in-law Dominique [Smith], who was killed in the line of duty. They grew up in Mountainair together,” she said.
After Smith died, Ron would still stop by for meals and to hang out. “He was my really, really good friend, then he met Brenda and married Brenda, so they were like a couple of my kids,” Seale explained.
“Protect and serve was how he lived his life,” she said. “Whether he was on duty or not, being a police officer never ended. He took the oath of office very seriously and was very proud of what he did.”
Ron’s wife Brenda said her husband loved “the thrill, and the adrenaline rush” of policing, adding, “He loved serving his community.”
Ron Fulfer spent the past seven years on dialysis, and was on a list for a kidney transplant. “As time went on, things started shutting down, where it got to the point where his liver was so bad it was irreplaceable,” she said, adding, “He taught me patience and he just made me happy. He was the best thing that ever happened to me. He was inspirational to me. He lit up the room anytime he walked in the house, and that was the best thing.”
The pair were married for 11 years. In the early days, they’d meet at the post office in McIntosh to talk. One night when he had come by to visit Brenda at her aunt’s house, he texted her after leaving, saying he had wanted to give her a kiss. She texted back, “What’s stopping you now?”
He “whipped a U-turn and came back, and that was how I got my first kiss,” she recalled.
What his wife will miss the most are “his laugh, his smile, his kisses, and our conversations, our talks,” she said. “He lived his life to the fullest, and he lived it with no regrets.”
“He was the people’s cop, the one everyone respected and adored—even the people he arrested,” Dennis Fulfer said. “He didn’t take anything personally, respected everybody, and took care of business. … It was very respectful policing, and I think that’s largely why everybody loved him so much, because he was like that. He loved his job so much. What he would want to be remembered for is that, his love of the people and the community that he served.”
“I would like to think that when people think of Torrance County as a whole, they think of people who made a difference, Ron was one of those people, up there with Art Swenka,” Nieto said. “When you think of Torrance County, you know that name, you know Ron Fulfer.”
Ronald Charles Fulfer was born Jan. 3, 1966 in Japan, to the late Charles Nate and Masako (Mizuno) Fulfer.
He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Brenda Kay Fulfer; sons, Dustin Fulfer, Dillon Fulfer (and Kristal Larson) and Justin Gore (and Alysha Archuleta); daughter, Karlianna R. Fulfer; stepdaughters, Alissa Sisnero and Kirsten Sisneros and brother, Dennis Fulfer (and Jenn Johnson); uncle, Don Fulfer and aunt, Sandy Fulfer; and mother- and father-in-law, Brad and Linda Townsend; eight beautiful grandchildren, Soloman, Jayde and Cash Fulfer, Kaleigh, Avah, Lane and Mila Gore and Aspen Sisneros-Cantu; and numerous nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held Dec. 11 at the Moriarty Civic Center at 12 p.m. Roy Dial will officiate the services, and a reception will follow.