CRAFTSBURY – Hester Louise Fuller, 67, of Craftsbury, died on October 18. Hester leaves us after a long and fierce battle with cancer which she fought with grace and fortitude, without letting her illness diminish her enjoyment of life.
Born in Boston, Hester grew up Wenham, Hamilton and Boston, Mass. The beloved daughter of the late Joan D. and Alfred W. Fuller, Hester treasured her family and friends first: her dear brothers and sisters the late Bradbury Fuller and his wife Eileen, Jane Haynes, Tim, Sarah, Jon and Rebecca Fuller, and her nieces and nephews, Addie, Erin, Patrick, Sam and Carrie Fuller, Dylan and Travis McCoy Fuller and Jonathan Forman, her aunt Beth McGinty, uncle Tom Dignan, and beloved dog Toby and cats Charlie Buttons and Buddy. She was the eldest and leader of the Dignan cousins in her generation.
Hester was a fast friend, an unexpected chuckle and a warm presence for so many friends, family and beloved animals.
She graduated from the Winsor School, Radcliffe College, Harvard University and Columbia University School of Journalism. She then moved first to Boston, Mass., where she worked for a time at WGBH National Public Radio leading the charge on their first ever multimedia productions, and then to Vermont where she continued her broadcasting career at WDEV, culminating as program director for the station. She then switched to education, teaching broadcasting and inspiring young minds at Northern Vermont University (then Lyndon State College) and, after earning her doctorate in education at Harvard, at Colby Sawyer College in New London, N.H., finally serving as Dean of Vermont Community College. She shared her time freely with educational and local community organizations, serving at various times on the Craftsbury Academy School Board of Directors and as the town’s Justice of the Peace. She particularly loved working with the animals at the Vermont Dog and Boarding center. Aside from her formal activities, Hester raised livestock, wrote prolifically, pioneered the use of new media platforms, and gladly used her expertise to wrangle friends’ and acquaintances’ misbehaving computers into submission. Her many friends and family remember fondly her kindness, witticisms and keen insights, as well as her enthusiasm and considerable aptitude for the board game Trivial Pursuit.
A true Vermonter like her beloved father, Hester loved the outdoors, slopping through the rigors of mud season, cold and brilliant starlight on a winter night, the lovely soft feel of a summer evening, and all the wonder of nature so well reflected in Frost’s famous poem and in her own life. While she sympathized with people’s challenges, the small concerns of woodland animals moved her as much if not more than the turmoil of man’s struggles (except, of course, the struggles of the Red Sox).
Her brilliant, understated, dry and spot-on humor left us shaking our heads and smiling time after time. Perhaps now Hester will take the path she did not choose and discover its unexpected twists, its wild bumps and its many wonders. Certainly, her brilliant mind and blithe spirit will be sorely missed and we will carry her love and acceptance of us all with us into the future. We wish her joy!
A Celebration of Hester’s Life will be held at the Highland Lodge in Greensboro, Vermont on Saturday, November 19th at 2:00 pm.