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Steven "Steve" Fulton '79 September 26, 2023 4:32 PM updated: September 26, 2023 4:53 PM

Steven Paul "Steve" Fulton, CDR USN (Ret) 

December 9, 1956 - September 15, 2023 

It is with a heavy heart that the Fulton family announces the passing of former U.S. Naval Officer and teacher at Tigard High School, Steven Paul Fulton, 66, of Tigard, Oregon. Steven fought a valiant battle against terminal cancer for four years. He passed away on September 15th, 2023 in the comfort of his home surrounded by his wife and children.

Steven was born on December 9th, 1956 to Paul and Cecelia Fulton (nee Freestone) in Cedar Rapids, IA. At seventeen years old, his family planted their roots in Ennis, Texas, where Steven graduated with high honors from Ennis High School in 1975. From there, he went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology from Texas A&M University in 1980.

During his time at TAMU, Steven became a member of the Corps of Cadets and was a part of Company S-2. His role in the Corps is what ultimately led to his 25-year career in the United States Navy, where he retired as a Commander at MSCPAC in San Diego, CA at the young age of forty-seven. At the conclusion of his Naval career, he had accumulated three Meritorious Service medals, six Navy Commendation medals, and five Navy Achievement medals, in addition to several other campaign and service awards.

Being in the Navy had another perk; at the June 1986 Portland Rose Festival, Steven met the love of his life, Marilyn Knepper. The day prior to his arrival, Marilyn, on a whim, signed up as a hospitality liaison for the ‘Dial-A-Sailor’ program. Steven had arrived early to Portland to meet his new ship, the USS Curts. Steven noticed the ‘Dial-A-Sailor’ booth staged at the Portland waterfront, and thought to himself, “Why not?”. He proceeded to read through several clipboarded applications and ultimately chose Marilyn’s. He called her and they met later that night at the Jazz De Opus in Old Town. Sparks flew, and after six weeks of long distance dating, he proposed. The couple wed on March 7th, 1987 at The Old Church in Portland in front of their friends and family.

At the time of their wedding, Steven was stationed in Long Beach, CA; this is where Marilyn moved to begin her career as a Navy wife. In June 1988, Steven was assigned to San Diego, CA, where he and Marilyn purchased their first home together. It was also there that they welcomed their first born child, a son named John, on October 9th, 1991. Shortly after getting situated in San Diego, Steven earned the opportunity to attend the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI from September 1993 to February 1995. This is where he obtained his first Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies and International Relations. On July 6th, 1994, he and Marilyn welcomed their second born child, a daughter named Stephanie.

As an ever-kept promise to his bride, Steven moved his family up to Portland, OR post-retirement, where Marilyn was born and raised. After a short few years being retired, he chose to go back to school to earn his second Master of Arts degree in Teaching and thus, his next career began. Steven taught Computer Science and Information Technology at Tigard High School for 12 years and developed a successful Robotics program that housed a team of 123 students at its largest prior to his cancer diagnosis in February of 2020.

Steven is survived by his wife, Marilyn Fulton; his two children, John Fulton and Stephanie Woodward; his two grandchildren, Theodore and Isaac Fulton; his mother, Cecelia Fulton; his mother-in-law, Caroll Knepper; his son-in-law, Thomas Woodward; his three sisters, Cheryl Henderson, Cathy Farris, and Diana Berger; and his brother, Father David Fulton. He was predeceased by his father, Paul Fulton.

Steven was well-known for his high level of integrity, contagious positivity, incredible work ethic, and love for movies with epic soundtracks. There was rarely a time that he did not have a smile on his face as he shared an Aggie “Howdy!” when he greeted others. His favorite subject was history; asking him any question about a historical event would guarantee a lengthy, colorful, and highly accurate response to the inquirer without falter. He was a one-of-a-kind husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, mentor, teacher, and overall person. His legacy will live on through his family and former shipmates and students for decades to come.

Local memorial services will be held at Young’s Funeral Home in Tigard, OR on September 30th, 2023 at 1:00pm. In fulfillment of his final wish, Steven will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA alongside former supreme court justices, former U.S. presidents, and some of the greatest war heroes of all time.

“Lord willing, creek don’t rise. TANSTAAFL! Positive waves!”

Young's Funeral Home


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