Wilbur D. Fullbright

Born: Tue., Jan. 19, 1926
Died: Sun., Nov. 22, 2020


Graveside Service

1:30 PM Fri., Dec. 11, 2020
Location: Pioneer Cemetery


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Music by The Piano Brothers


Wilbur D. Fullbright departed this life on November 22nd, the year of our Lord 2020, a resident of Runk & Pratt Pearls of Life Senior Living Community, Lynchburg, Virginia.  Born January 19, 1926, near Spearman, Texas, Wilbur grew up on a farm, graduating from Spearman High School in 1942. He served in the United States Navy during World War II.  He married his remarkable wife, Lorraine O. Barker, on January 2, 1947, his loving partner in this world until his passing. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1950 with a B.A. in Music and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bob Jones University in 1953, where he remained as a faculty member until 1956, when he moved to Boston, Massachusetts. He completed his doctoral degree in music at Boston University, where he remained until his retirement in 1993, serving in various capacities, and, beginning in 1966, as Professor of Music and Director of the School of Music for Boston University (the longest serving Director of the School of Music in the school’s history).

 

Dr. Fullbright served as the Artistic Director and was instrumental in the founding and development of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, a preeminent summer program for young musicians in Lenox, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  He served two terms (1966-70) as National President of the prestigious music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda and was a member of its board of regents for 39 years.  His legacy consists of a lifetime of active music education and representation, including Member of the Council of Association of College Honor Societies (1986-94), Member of the Advisory Board for Advanced Institute for Musical Studies (Sion, Switzerland, 1972-75), Province Governor (New England States) for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (1960-66), Chairman of Cultural Exchange between Massachusetts and Colombia, South America, in the Partners of Americas program (1971-86), and Consultant to the Minister of Culture, Korea, in the establishing of the National Conservatory of Music (1992-93).  He also served as a member of various boards, including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the New England Opera, Project Step (music for minorities), and the Music Teachers National Association. 

 

In addition to his music education achievements, Dr. Fullbright was a biblical scholar who visited Israel many times, taking part in programs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and eventually becoming the Dean of Scholars for Biblical Studies in Israel, as well as Faith of our Fathers, a course at Oxford University in England, in association with the American Christian Trust. Wilbur and Lorraine were members   at Park Street Church, in Boston, Massachusetts, for 40 years, and also served as temporary hosts for the American Christian Trust House of Prayer in Washington, D.C., for some time.    

 

In reducing a lifetime of effort into a list of remarkable achievements, titles, and leadership positions, it would be easy to miss the greatest impact of Wilbur D. Fullbright, being the uplifting of those around him through love, dedication, and servitude.  The cascades of positive influence on the lives of those with whom he interacted is innumerable.  As a music educator, he was instrumental in forging artists’ careers, assisting them through formative years in finding their passion and developing their skills.  As a husband, father, and grandfather, he supported, contributed, and elevated those closest to him with unending optimism and kindness.  As an ambassador for Christ and a shining example of generosity, he brought numerous souls to salvation through witness, prayer, and personal outreach.  The legacy for which he will be most remembered is a legacy of the love of Christ, his savior. 

 

Those who spent time with Wilbur can attest to his zeal for life and insistence that problems were only challenges to overcome.  He was a force for positivity, a true leader, and a person who encouraged pursuit of higher goals.  He was an artist, a photographer, an educator, and a musician, delighting others with an expert touch on the piano. He recorded a CD of hymns on piano which continues to comfort many who know him.  He was an expert on opera and watched thousands of performances, both live and recorded. He was a world traveler, having visited various places in the Americas, Europe, China, Mongolia, and the Middle East.  He and Lorraine hosted countless student gatherings at their Brookline, Massachusetts, residence, a four-story brownstone which they painstakingly renovated for years.  He was a spectacular cook, once winning a national recipe contest held by Thomas English Muffin.  He cultivated plants, and collected paintings, sculptures, books, and musical recordings of all sorts. 

 

When Wilbur D. Fullbright left his earthly body behind he eagerly departed to join those who passed before him in greeting his savior Jesus Christ, an assurance he took comfort in as a faithful servant and follower.  He revered the Bible, and his life was evidence not just of a philosophy, but an actuality, a love in action.  In the words of a famous hymn he often played:

 

          “When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

          And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart

          Then I shall bow with humble adoration

          And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art.”

 

 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph R. Fullbright and Myrtle E. (Files) Fullbright, his siblings, Edith Pipkin, Orville Fullbright, Edna Scroggs, Ethel Depew, and Reba Banks,. He is survived by his wife Lorraine O. (Barker) Fullbright, (95), his three sons, Glen A. Fullbright of Edmond, Oklahoma, Karl R. Fullbright and Lynn (Preston) Fullbright, his wife, of Reno, Nevada, and Dale N. Fullbright and Cynthia J. (Kluge) Fullbright, his wife, of Lynchburg, Virginia, as well as four grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.Wilbur D. Fullbright departed this life on November 22nd, the year of our Lord 2020, a resident of Runk & Pratt Pearls of Life Senior Living Community, Lynchburg, Virginia.  Born January 19, 1926, near Spearman, Texas, Wilbur grew up on a farm, graduating from Spearman High School in 1942. He served in the United States Navy during World War II.  He married his remarkable wife, Lorraine O. Barker, on January 2, 1947, his loving partner in this world until his passing. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1950 with a B.A. in Music and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bob Jones University in 1953, where he remained as a faculty member until 1956, when he moved to Boston, Massachusetts. He completed his doctoral degree in music at Boston University, where he remained until his retirement in 1993, serving in various capacities, and, beginning in 1966, as Professor of Music and Director of the School of Music for Boston University (the longest serving Director of the School of Music in the school’s history).

 

 

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