Paul Fullmer, former president of Selz/Seabolt Communications and executive secretary of the American Society of Golf Course Architects when based in Chicago, died Jan. 10, 2020 in Carlsbad, California. He was 85.
Fullmer, a 1955 journalism graduate of the University of Notre Dame, spent two years as a reporter/columnist for the Aurora Beacon-News after graduation. He then joined the Lawrence H. Selz Organization and spent his entire professional career with the public relations firm.
In 1980, he became president and CEO of the firm, renamed Selz/Seabolt Communications, and served in that role for 20 years until selling the company to the French communications conglomerate, Publicis, in 2000. He continued as a consultant for three years before retiring in Galena, Illinois.
Included among the firm’s clients during his tenure was the American Society of Golf Course Architects. Fullmer served as executive secretary of the organization from 1970 until his retirement in 2004.
“Paul was the executive secretary when I became a member,” ASGCA President Jan Bel Jan said. “It was easy to speak with Paul because he was always interested in each person as an individual. He welcomed new members and did his best to help them feel comfortable at their first meeting and every meeting. Paul relished learning what was important to you. You learned he cared when he later recalled the smallest details. The was the ‘reporter’ in him.
“Paul’s natural penchant for collaboration was always on display,” Bel Jan continued. “While he helped lay the foundations for cooperation with other golf associations, he always reminded us that ASGCA was the voice of its members and how important it was to be active in the Society.”
“Paul’s skill and savvy helped establish golf course architecture as a recognized profession, and ASGCA as a voice in the game of golf,” ASGCA executive director Chad Ritterbusch said. “His personal standing helped unite the varied voices of the Society. Along with visionary members, he gave the organization purpose. He was, as Alice Dye once told me, ‘The glue that held ASGCA together.’”
Fullmer served in the U.S. Army Reserve for six years, with six months active duty in 1957.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra; two children, Monica Fullmer (Denver) and David Fullmer (Schaumburg, Ill.); four grandchildren, Lidia, Victor, Keith and Steven Fullmer; two step grandchildren, Tabatha Ramirez and Patrick Begley; six great-grandchildren; and one brother, Rev. Hugh Fullmer, retired pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Aurora, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents, Marie and Joseph Fullmer of Elmhurst, and his brother Mel Fullmer, of Santa Clarita, Calif.
Fullmer and his wife, former president of the Women’s Western Golf Association, retired in Carlsbad, California, in 2017.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Donnellan Funeral Home, Skokie, Illinois, on Friday, Feb. 7. The funeral Mass will be offered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. A private burial will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Paul Fullmer Scholarship Fund, University of Notre Dame, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.