Samuel S. Fuller (1923-2016)

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Samuel S. Fuller, 1923-2016We at The Suffield Observer have been privileged to work with and under the guidance of our beloved founder, Sam Fuller. Sam put his heart and soul into the production of this paper. He started the Observer as a way for the Town to improve communication with its citizens.

The absence of a means to communicate accurately became evident during a few years of budget crises. Sam served on a committee to study the Town and school budgets. He soon realized that the citizens were being greatly misled by rumors and were voting down budgets because of false information. Therefore he wanted an avenue for town officials, boards and commission members to be able to bring issues directly to the public with correct information. Thus, The Suffield Observer was born.

Sam worked day and night to make the paper a reality. He gathered a group of reliable people to help him, and he developed procedures for the operation of a system of guidelines for the production of the paper. He obtained sources of funds, procured computers, copiers, filing cabinets, as well as furniture for our first office in Suffield Village. In 1999, The Suffield Observer started sending free copies to all households and businesses.

The Observer has grown over the years because of our volunteers and advertisers. The original procedures are still our guidelines, but it has been Sam’s guidance and advice over the years that have really made the difference in the success of the publication. His assistance always came with a fantastic sense of humor. Our friend and founder Sam Fuller had a unique ability to make all the staff at the Observer feel special and valued. He had us all convinced that each issue was the best issue yet, until his sly humor finally hit home!

Sam loved coming to our office with his faithful dog Obie, who enjoyed carrying his own leash. Sam made sure that Obie had a box of treats on a shelf for these visits. As time went on, Sam could not come to the office because of his beloved wife Jane’s illness, but he still made himself available by phone – day or night. His advice was always sound and helpful and a really good guide for us during this transitional time.

The mission of Sam’s brainchild, the Observer, is to build a sense of community throughout the town of Suffield and to provide a forum where all sides of an issue may be addressed. We have always heard his voice in our heads when making difficult decisions about whether something should be published or not, and we err on the side of publishing (as long as facts are correct and no one is slandered); this is the direction we received from Sam’s leadership. At this time of Thanksgiving, we are thankful for Sam, the consummate gentleman, for his smile, and for his optimism. We ask you to join us in gratitude for Sam Fuller . . . all Suffield residents have the ability to share in Sam’s love for Suffield through The Suffield Observer.

This issue was produced with heavy hearts, but we know that Sam’s spirit will continue to guide us.

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