Dec 28, 1933 – Jan 2, 2018
Austin Lee Fultz, 84, passed away quietly on January 2, 2018 at his home in Nanaimo, British Columbia due natural causes.
He was born on December 28, 1933 in Chatham, Ontario to James and Dorothy (Wilson) Fultz.
Austin grew up in Chatham, Ontario. He had a life-long love of the sea, and his entire career was spent on or near the ocean. He volunteered as a Canadian to join the United States Navy for the Korean War and was Honourably Discharged in 1953. After leaving the Navy, he became a Journeyman Surveyor, then moved to Campbell River, British Columbia in 1955 to work for the BC Power Commission as Instrument Man Crew Chief tasked with laying out the power lines used to blow up Ripple Rock, the largest non-nuclear explosion in history.
Austin then worked at Victoria Machinery Depot, where he was an Engine Fitter, pioneering the use of surveying techniques in the construction of the ships there, which included Canadian Destroyers such HMCS Saskatchewan and BC Ferries such as the Queen of Prince Rupert.
He was also a commercial fisherman, serving as a deckhand/cook on the White Mist out of Victoria, BC. Austin then joined the Canadian Coast Guard, sailing on the then-new MV Ready out of Esquimalt. While serving in Coast Guard, he earned the coveted Clearance Diver Certificate from the Canadian Navy. In 1968 he joined the BC Department of Highways as Chief Engineer on the school ferry Sointula Queen (formerly the historic Uchuck II).
In 1972 he began work for Seaspan International as a Marine Engineer where he was a member of the first tug to sail around the Alaskan Panhandle to Barrow, Alaska to deliver shallow draft tugs and other equipment used to build the Alaskan Oil Pipeline. Austin had a long and varied career with Seaspan, sailing on many vessels such as the Regent, Commodore, and Sudbury II until his retirement in 1993 after 21 years with the company.
Austin married Geraldine (“Gerry”) Dorothy Hyatt in Mimico, Ontario in 1955. They were happily married for 54 years until she passed away in 2009.
Austin was also preceded in death by his parents James and Dorothy, and only daughter Rachael Julie Fultz.
A member of the Canadian Merchant Service Guild, Austin was a lifelong supporter of the Trade Union Movement and the CCF (now NDP). He enjoyed Classical and Jazz music, Computer Programming, model building, and Advanced Physics research including String Theory. He developed programs that were used for Marine Diesel Engine Supercharger monitoring, Physics Super String Theory modelling, and diagnostics for UV Light treatment equipment.
Austin was very proud of his family, and is survived by his sons Karl and wife Valerie of Kamloops, BC, Damon and wife Paula Zentner of Mission, BC, and Steven and wife Erin of Cedar, BC; his sister Susan Hook of Oshawa, Ontario; his grandchildren Raymond Fultz, Darius Fultz-Zentner, Lucas Fultz-Zentner, Cassandra (and husband Joe) Donnelly, and Amanda (and partner Kody Weber) Fultz; his great-grandchildren Caleb and Colson Donnelly; and his nieces Kim Rinaldo, Pam Taylor, nephew James Hamilton and their children.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Smitty’s Restaurant and Lounge 117-50 Tenth St, Nanaimo at 6 pm, Saturday, February 10, 2018.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Nanaimo Association for Community Living. https://nanaimoacl.com/en/
The family would like to thank the Nanaimo Emergency Services and First Responders for their kindness, compassion, and support during this difficult time.