Raymond Fulcher learned about firefighting from his father, who spent 24 years as a member of the Harlem Volunteer Fire Department.
James Morgan "Red" Fulcher, shown in 1961, helped start the Harlem Volunteer Fire Department. He died March 30.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
"There was many a night when he would get up and get me up, even before I knew where the fire department was, just to go with him just to help, to help fight the fires," Fulcher said of his father, James Morgan "Red" Fulcher, 88, who died March 30.
"That's how I got started in (the fire department), through him. We would go do the dirty work, we would roll the hoses up, all the kids would,'' he said.
Raymond Fulcher is a volunteer and former chief of the department his father helped start in the late 1940s.
Though his father wasn't born in Harlem, Raymond Fulcher said, his dad loved the city of Harlem, which he served and protected and considered his home after living in or around the area for 52 years.
Raymond Fulcher said his father, dubbed "Red" early in life for his red hair, was a generous man who served on Harlem's City Council, on the Columbia County Board of Education when the county boasted three high schools, and retired as the city's superintendent of Public Works after 12 years.
"I stepped in that (superintendent) position when he retired," Raymond Fulcher said. "And I was also on the fire department with him for several years before he retired."
"Red'' Fulcher also ran Fulcher's Feed and Seed for 25 years, where many of his children worked growing up. He is survived by three sons, Bobby and Raymond, both of Harlem, and Carlton, of Appling; two daughters, Connie Mason, of Harlem, and Lynn Cook, of Albany, Ga.; two brothers, Carlton "Boots" Fulcher, of Springfield, Ga., and Ray Fulcher, of Appling; a sister, Anne Jolley, of Harlem; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
"Red'' Fulcher, who retired as a captain from the volunteer fire department, was an Army veteran who fought on the beaches of Normandy, where he was wounded and earned a Purple Heart.
Despite his big accomplishments, Raymond said, friends picked on his father for his short stature, but it never bothered him.
"He was a joyful person. He'd have a good time with people," Raymond Fulcher said.
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