Thomas S. Fulmer, Princeton Architect, Dies at 79


Thomas S. Fulmer, an architect and community leader in Princeton for many years, died last Thursday at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro from complications related to Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was 79.

Born Aug. 31, 1934, in Cleveland, Ohio to O. Kline Fulmer and Lois Fulmer (nee Hoover), Tom attended elementary and high school in Douglaston, Long Island, New York. He graduated from Princeton University in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, and in 1961 completed a graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture.

Tom served in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960 and retired with a rank of Lt. JG. While in the Navy, Tom was stationed aboard the Destroyer U.S.S. Ault, spending most of his time in the Mediterranean and the North Sea as the operations department head.

After graduating from MIT, Tom joined his father’s firm, Fulmer and Bowers Architects in Princeton. The partnership became Fulmer, Bowers & Wolfe in 1980 and Fulmer and Wolfe Architects in 1984. Tom practiced as Thomas S. Fulmer, consulting architect from 1993 until his retirement in 2006. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects and several other professional organizations. His firms produced construction designs for business, health care, education, government, institutional and television buildings in the Northeastern United States and elsewhere.

In the Princeton area a list of his projects include: four of the first five office buildings at Carnegie Center; the Princeton Medical Group; Mercer Engine Company No. 3 firehouse; additions and renovations for the Little Brook, Community Park, Johnson Park and Hun schools. Fulmer and Bowers was the architect of record for Jean Labatut’s design of Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, and Tom’s parents were members of the school’s Council of Founders.

Tom lived in Princeton for all of his adult life, including 15 years in a house on the Great Road that he designed. He was an active participant and leader in the Princeton community, serving on the Princeton Township Zoning Board and the Princeton Affordable Housing Board. He was also a director of Princeton Area Family and Children’s Services. He served for a term as president of the Princeton Ski Club, where he met his first wife. Tom sang bass in the Nassau Presbyterian Church choir and he was a long-time member of the Bedens Brook Club and the Rotary Club, and was a trustee of the Nassau Club. He joined the Old Guard of Princeton in 2008. Tom was also a trustee of the Princeton University Campus Club and served as many roles for the Princeton Class of 1956, receiving the distinguished classmate award in 2014. He was inducted into the Society of the Claw for his nineteen-year service to the P-rade Marshal Corps, an honor only bestowed on high performing Reunion leaders. For the past seven years, Tom enthusiastically served as a touring docent for the Princeton University Art Museum, a position he found highly rewarding.

All who knew Tom will remember him as a true gentleman and devoted father who always put family first. He had an amazing ability to solve problems and expressed himself beautifully in prose as well as poetry. Tom was a world traveler studying the architecture and art history of each locale. He enjoyed his early morning walks, dancing, sailing, tennis, skiing, music, theater, design and reading. He was a wine connoisseur and faithfully tried to complete the New York Times crossword puzzle each day. Tom was preceded in death by his first wife, Julia Fulmer (nee Hemminger), his parents, and his sister, Lois Sonya Fulmer. Survivors include his wife Eleanor Hughes-Fulmer (Peggy) his son Scott Fulmer, his daughter Christine Goss (Oliver) and his beloved granddaughter Thea Goss. He is also survived by his brother David Fulmer (Carol Ann), step children Margaret (Gary) Bender, James Hughes III, Susan Hughes, Mary Beth Tevebaugh (Peter) and Katie Redmond (Aiden) and fourteen additional grandchildren.

Services will be held at on 4 p.m., Thursday, August 21st at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street in Princeton. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his name to the Thomas S. Fulmer Memorial Fund at the Princeton Area Community Foundation, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, 08648.