Born: 25 December 1950
Passed: 15 July 2023
Daughter of Neal and Arvilla Spickert, both deceased
Crawford County, Kansas Farm Family
She attended Cherokee, Kansas Public Schools, and graduated from Southeast High School in 1968.
She attended Kansas State College of Pittsburg, later renamed Pittsburg State University, 1968-1973, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Following graduation, she did graduate-level studies and was among the first group of women selected for admittance into the university's MBA program. With limited resources, she worked her way through, and paid off her student loans within a year of graduation. During university years, she worked in a restaurant and then as an administrative assistant in the City Court Office. On campus, she worked in several offices, but the major position held was resident manager of the Married Student Apartments. She was a good student, but also a person interested in all the various activities of the campus world. For instance, she was a member of the KSCP Skydivers Club, and logged seven jumps in her record book.
Lorella met Richard Paul Fulton in the fall of 1969, when he arrived on campus from a military assignment in Vietnam. The couple married 25 December 1970. They had two sons, Shawn Patrick Spickert-Fulton, 7 November 1971, and Travis Ryan Spickert-Fulton, 3 June 1989. Shawn is an Army Scientist. He married Sharon Elaine Bray, a New Jersey attorney, in 2008 and the couple has two sons, Lorella's grandsons, Neal and Nathan. Travis works for a large chain-type movie theater, located in Lawrence, Kansas, and is doing well with it.
Following university years, Rick, Lorella, and Shawn moved to Leavenworth, Kansas where Rick was employed by the US Army, and Lorella was household manager. The following years, until retirement at Fort Jackson in 1995, were spent at various military locations, including Fort Hood in Texas, and Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. Particularly, the family lived in Seoul, Republic of Korea, 1982-1984 and 1986-1990. During this period of civilian employment for Rick, Lorella was an English as a Second Language instructor and worked with members of the Seoul business, athletic, and fashion communities.
During the two years leading to the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games, Lorella and her husband worked closely with a group of Korean university students who held various positions of support for the Games. Duties involved helping them strengthen their English skills and increase their understanding of Western cultures. Lorella had received her appointment for this task from US Army General William J. Livsey, commanding American forces in Korea. It was continued by General Louis C. Menetrey, who followed General Livsey in the CINC position.
During the years in Korea, Lorella traveled throughout the Republic of Korea, visiting many cultural and historic sites, including battlefields of the Korean War. She rendered needed support to several command programs, including OPERATION CUPID COOKIE, and several times visited Panmunjom as well as other locations in close proximity to the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Rick and Lorella's second son, Travis, was born during the Seoul assignment. Their oldest son, Shawn, graduated from the Seoul American High School which was located on the grounds of the Yongsan post near the Han River. The stay in Korea was marked by a lot of civil unrest, and also terrorism events, as well as incidents of North Korean activity. Several times Lorella was exposed to street violence and to clouds of tear gas and other such forms of crowd control. The night Travis was born, Lorella was driven to the American hospital on Yongsan through crowds of protesters, and drifting clouds of crowd control chemical agents. On one occasion she and her husband were physically attacked by an anti-American thug, and after Rick stopped the attack and chased the man off, she had to move her injured husband to a place of safety, doing this without assistance. That was Korea of the 1980s.
During her years in Korea, Lorella learned much of the Hangul culture and language, including the written forms, She made many friends with workers in the marketplaces close to the family's residence, as well as with members of all the ranks found within the Republic of Korea military, and also with Americans serving in Korea in various military and civilian positions. Her daily actions contributed much to the command and to the various international relationships found in Seoul in the 1980s. She was a remarkable credit to her nation, in trying and difficult times, as well as a gifted parent for Shawn and for Travis.
The couple were retired by the Army downsizing in 1995, and returned to Pittsburg where they bought a home and held residence the past 28 years. During this time, Lorella involved herself in supporting various political candidates for a wide variety of offices. She continued her interests in gardening, in exercise programs at the Pittsburg YMCA, and in support of the Bone Creek Sport and Gun Club. In this time, Lorella developed professional-level photographic skills and used them for a year as a volunteer at the Fort Scott National Historic Site. The National Park Service recognized her with a certificate of thanks for the photographic work she did.
A significant activity during retirement years involved her membership in a local recreational vehicle club and she and her husband made many trips with the group to various parks and lakes in the region around Pittsburg. Lorella was an expert in handling the family's 24-foot Born Free RV. She and Rick took many trips to various points of interest, with trips ranging from both coasts, and into the Southwest, as well as to Maine, and on up into Canada. Lorella and Rick spent the summers of 2012 and 2015 in Alaska. They visited many points of interest, saw a lot of moose, bears, eagles, and other members of the wildlife community, and had some adventures along the way, including a flight in a float plane up close to the summit of Denali. These Alaska journeys were made with good friends, Earnie and Leslie Callender of Boise, Idaho. Other friends too... Chuck and Carol Yates, and their little dog, Bandit.
With such a warm and caring person of such strength and excellent quality in her character, it is hard to find an ending point for a summation of her life.
Lorella was a person who went far out of her way to be kind to people, known and unknown, and to animals— ask her dogs, King, Major, and Zoey. They will tell you. Ask her friends. Ask anyone along this path of life which she followed with her brand of precision.
No, she was not a perfect person. Who among us is? Yet she was our lover, our friend, our colleague, our mother, our grandmother, our fellow traveler. When it came to money, Lorella was a Scot, and like that all of her life. Today I was cleaning out her purse, and discovered bill after bill, tucked here and there. With money, she was a responsible person, but never selfish, and never greedy. Just responsible. That is not a fault, but it is a mark of her character. Also, she was a brave person with a stout heart, who sought to always do what was legal and right.
"Lorella, my love, we shall always miss you, and always long for the days you were with us.
Journey on, my dear. Our trip shall continue. I love you as deeply as you loved me. You kept me straight, not always so easy. Truth be told, you deserved so much more than what I am, was, and have to offer. I know that, yet you accepted me, and we went through so much together. I know how deeply we cared for one another – and always will.
Trust is love, love is trust. Do you remember jumping from the plane, on a chute I packed? I remember the one I jumped which you prepared. Our life was like that, every day. So valued. So treasured.
Sug, Rest in Peace, my darling. See you down the trail." -Frog/Rick
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 21, 2023 at the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home, 522 S. Broadway Pittsburg, KS 66762. Inurnment will take place at a later date at the Girard City Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Bath-Naylor Funeral Home, Pittsburg, KS.