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Town Report dedication notes long and committed service

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PEPPERELL — “I feel honored, but others are much worthier; the dedication should go to everyone in town who has volunteered time to help others,” Barry Fuller said.

The 2010 Town Report was dedicated to Barry Fuller and George Ux.

“Those who have helped will know it in their own hearts,” he said.

Fuller attended Thompson Academy in Boston for eight years, where he said he learned quite a lot after a troubled childhood. He said he never really had found a home until he found Pepperell. He celebrated his 48th wedding anniversary with his wife, Barbara. Fuller says that Barbara was overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging and described her as someone who was always smiling and, like him, believes in Pepperell.

“Pepperell is a great town to raise a family,” he said. His five kids, Cheryl, Christine, Robert, Cathy and Donna, were born and raised there and Fuller now has 10 grandchildren.

Fuller, who is turning 70 this year, says he has been spending this part of his life on himself and devoting time to his family and traveling. Often he makes trips to places like St. Martin and Aruba, where he enjoys metal detecting.

“Coin collecting is a hobby which allows you to think about other things,” Fuller said. He finds Euros in off-beat places, where people don’t look. He says that this phase of his life came after he spent time first helping kids, then serving in politics, and next advocating for the elderly.

“I had the most fun fundraising for nonprofits,” Fuller said.

He said his long life of public service allowed him to make connections for the good of the town and organizations he was involved with. Fuller also saw himself in the people he served.

“I like talking to kids with problems and being able to help them out,” he said.

Fuller’s service to youth began as an adult Boy Scouter after moving through the ranks himself. After joining the Nashua Valley Council Executive Board, he chaired the Friends of Scouting Fundraising Committee in 1995 and helped to balance the Council’s budget for the first time in many years.

“I was stressing the importance of Cub Scouting,” Fuller said. “They are the future of the program.”

Fuller’s also has served as both a coordinator and board director for the Pepperell Youth Center and on the Lowell Tech and North Middlesex school committees. His also was chairman of a fundraising committee which raised over $150,000 to furnish the Senior Center in 2002.

“For me, every decision was what was best for Pepperell, not what was best for me,” Fuller said.

He was elected to public office several times, including the Pepperell Board of Selectman in 1993, and served as chairman in 1996 and 1999.

“The town has always depended on advisors, committees and volunteers to listen to each other and bring it along the right path,” he said.

Fuller says he has lived by a code of “help yourself and others you can help” and also that everybody contributes to your life. He said one memory that has stuck with him is meeting Harry S. Truman beside a stage in Falmouth during his campaigning for president.

“It gave me a perspective that everyone is equal and I always assume others are two times as clever as I,” he said.

Fuller says what he remembers most fondly about the town are the cows and dairy farms and seeing people on horseback, but he will never say he has lived here his whole life, because he’s “still breathing.”

And as for what’s coming up for Fuller, “I dont know what I’m going to get involved with next,” he said.

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