Celebrating the life of Clara Louise Bevis Fulton
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Clara Louise Bevis Fulton passed away early in the morning of January 4. She was 81. Clara was the firstborn child of Charlie and Jo Helen McCaskill Bevis. She was only two when her baby brother died; the Bevises went on to have four more children, but ""Sissy"" always felt a special responsibility to succeed. She graduated from Florida State University in 1957 (a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority), married Ben Fulton, and moved from Tallahassee to Stuart, Florida. They had two children, Brenda Sue and Charles Benjamin. Sue graduated in the first class of women at West Point, served in the US Army, and became a civil rights advocate, appointed in 2011 by President Obama to the Military Academy Board of Visitors. Chuck graduated from the University of Florida, earned a Master""s degree from Northwestern University in Natchitoches, LA, became a high school band director/Director of Music and is past President of Florida Bandmasters Association. Clara had a remarkable 40-year career in Martin County public schools as a teacher, librarian, administrator, and the first woman principal at Martin County High School, only the seventh woman HS principal in the state of Florida. She served as a President of the local Soroptimist Club, and she and Ben served in multiple leadership roles at All Saints Episcopal Church in Jensen Beach. She was the first woman to serve on the Florida High School Activities Association. After her daughter went to West Point, Clara was appointed to Congressman Tom Lewis""s Academy Selection Committee, and served for many years, working to send the best and brightest young men and women to all the service Academies. Her reputation was cemented when, late in her career, she took on a troubled athletic department and turned it around, becoming possibly the most successful sixty-year-old woman high school Athletic Director in Florida. After retirement, Clara and Ben traveled the continent for years in their RV. They spent their final years in Lakeland, FL, close to their son Chuck, his wife Kathy and daughter Amanda, all active in All Saints Episcopal Church in Lakeland, where Clara served as Lector Warden. Ben passed away in 2013. Up until her passing, Clara lived at Brookdale Highlands in Lakeland, serving as ""Welcome Ambassador"" and frequent travel lecturer. She was 81. She is survived by her daughter Brenda S. ""Sue"" Fulton and her wife Penelope Gnesin, Asbury Park, NJ; her son, Charles B. ""Chuck"" Fulton and his wife Kathy Allen Fulton; her granddaughter (Chuck""s daughter) Amanda Joy Fulton, her pride and joy, a sophomore at George Washington University; her sister Charlene Bevis Reese; and her brothers Joseph M. ""Bo"" Bevis; Kenneth B. ""Bert"" Bevis; and Lawrence R. ""Larry"" Bevis. Funeral services will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Lakeland at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 7. There will be a graveside ceremony at All Saints Episcopal Church in Jensen Beach on Monday, January 9, at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church Building Fund at All Saints Church, 209 S. Iowa Ave, Lakeland, FL
All Saints Episcopal Church
202 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801
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202 South Massachusetts Avenue,
Lakeland, FL 33801