Skip to main content

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Funeral services for Joseph O. Fuller, attorney and member of the University of Tennessee board of trustees, are scheduled here Sunday.

Fuller died Thursday of an apparent heart attack. He was 66. Services will be at 4 p.m., Sunday, at First Broad Street United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends from 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the church.

Fuller was appointed to the UT board in 1993 by Gov. Ned McWherter to represent the 1st Congressional District. Fuller graduated from the UT Junior College in Martin in 1949 and earned a law degree from UT-Knoxville in 1952.

“We are saddened by the death of Joe Fuller,” UT President Joe Johnson said. “He served the university with distinction, giving his time unselfishly to the work of the board and its committees. We will miss him and the wise, thoughtful counsel he provided.

“The university community extends its sympathy to Ann and their daughter Cynthia.”

When he was appointed to the board, Fuller was quoted as saying, “I’m looking at it (the appointment) with a sense of humility. It’s an honor. It’s a big responsibility.”

At trustee meetings Fuller spoke frequently about improving the quality of the university and protecting its academic integrity. At last week’s meeting, he said, “If we do anything to diminish the value of the diploma, we diminish the value of this university.”

Fuller, a senior partner of Fuller and Vaughn of Kingsport practiced law more than 40 years. He was a member of the Kingsport and Tennessee bar associations, the American and Tennessee trail lawyers associations and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He was an active member of the First Broad Street United Methodist Church.

Hamlet-Dobson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.