Sunday, July 25, 2004

Dr. William Fullen was U.C. professor, pioneer in surgery

'Superb' doctor also 'renowned educator'

By: Nicole Hamilton
Enquirer staff writer

HYDE PARK - Even after Dr. William Daniel Fullen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the 1980s and stopped performing surgeries, he remained one of the most influential doctors in the community.

As dedicated a teacher as he was a doctor, his legacy continues in the careers of his students.

"Bill Fullen consistently displayed superb surgical technique. And he was a renowned surgical educator, and he really enjoyed teaching residents and doctors alike," said former colleague Dr. Jack McDonough.

Dr. Fullen died Friday at Christ Hospital. The longtime Hyde Park resident, valedictorian of his high school, college and medical-school class, was 71.

"No matter what his accomplishments, the thing I admired most about Dad was that every day, despite his illness, I saw a wonderful man become a better and better person," said his daughter, Kirstin Fullen of Mariemont.

Raised in rural Vinton, Ohio, Dr. Fullen's father died when he was 9 and his mother supported the family by selling chickens and eggs from their Gallia County farmhouse.

He graduated from Vinton High School, where he was a star basketball player, and went on to study psychology at Ohio University.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa, he entered the Air Force in 1954.

Serving as a pilot of tactical fighter jets and as a flight instructor, he rose to the rank of first lieutenant.

Released from active duty in 1957, Dr. Fullen continued his education at the University of Cincinnati's College of Medicine, where he graduated in 1963.

He performed his internship at Bethesda Hospital before serving as chief resident surgeon at Cincinnati General Hospital.

A general and vascular surgeon, Dr. Fullen was a member of the surgical staffs at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Bethesda, Mercy, University and Christ hospitals, and was a professor in the University of Cincinnati's Department of Surgery.

Dr. Fullen was a pioneer in small-incision gall bladder surgery, and he published papers nationally and internationally in the fields of trauma and infection.

Besides his daughter, Kirstin, other survivors include his wife, Therese "Trudi" McMahon Fullen of Hyde Park; two other daughters, Shannon Nelson of Clifton and Heather Fullen of Mariemont; three sons, Sean of Wyoming, Michael of Anderson Township and Dan of San Diego; two sisters, Ginger Quickle of Vinton and Donna Fullen of Beechgrove, Tenn.; and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Monday at George H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home, 3183 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout.

Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesdayat Summit Country Day School Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, 2161 Grandin Road, Hyde Park.

Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Montgomery. Memorials can be made to the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, 4460 Lake Forest Dive, Cincinnati, 45242.


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