Joe Edward Fuller
June 29, 1943 – October 8, 2021
Joe Edward “The Hawk” Fuller, age 78, passed away peacefully from this earth on Friday, October 8, 2021 at home, surrounded by his family. Born on June 29, 1943 in Huntsville, AL, Joe was adopted at birth by Joe Drennen Fuller and Nancy Irene White Fuller. Following the passing of his adopted father at a young age, Joe was the only child raised by his adopted mother and stepfather, Walter Stead, who encouraged his lifelong love of insurance.
He attended Columbia Military Academy in Tennessee and graduated in 1961 from Philips High School in Birmingham. Joe served honorably in the United States Air Force from 1961-1965, during which time he gained his nickname, “The Hawk”, due to his precision on the rifle range.
He attended the University of Georgia at Warner Robbins Air Force Base and Samford University. In 1968, he joined his stepfather in the Walter Stead Agency, which later became the Stead & Fuller Agency when Joe became partner in 1977. In 2019, Joe partnered with his son-in-law, CD Denson, changing the name of the agency again to the Stead, Denson & Fuller Insurance, Inc.
Joe had a true passion for service to his community and was an active leader in numerous civic, professional and political organizations and causes. Most notably, he served for two terms as President of the Birmingham Jaycees, two terms as President of the City Sales Club, two terms as President of the Mid-Alabama Republican Club, and two terms as chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex and as Chairman of the Jefferson County March of Dimes Walkathon, Past President of the Birmingham Stallions Booster Club, Chairman of Scouting and Selection Committee for the Hall of Fame Bowl, State and National Director for the Alabama Independent Insurance Agents Association, Past President of Alabama Insurance Agents & Brokers, Past President of Professional Insurance Agents of Alabama, and was a member of the Alabama Theater Restoration Committee.
Joe was a singular force de jour shaping the political landscape of Alabama at the national, state and local levels of government. He helped recruit and support candidates for public office that were of solid character and had a strong pro-business mindset. Candidates sought out his support, and, if he was for you, he made sure everyone in his sphere of influence knew it. To receive the blessing of Joe Fuller was considered key to a successful candidacy.
Joe was respected by business and political leaders alike and was often called on for his insightful perspective regarding important legislation, especially ones that impacted the insurance industry. U.S. Senators, Members of Congress, Governors and others frequently asked Joe to chair task forces and other key committees that forever shaped our state. He was most proud to serve as Chairman of the Corridor X Task Force, spearheading the development and completion of the Memphis to Birmingham interstate, now known as I-22. In recognition for his leadership, the Alabama Legislature named a bridge along the route at the Jefferson-Walker County line in his honor.
He was named President-Emeritus for his Forty-Four years of service to the Birmingham City Sales Club, received the prestigious AIIA Insuror of the Year award in 2014, and in 2021, the AIIA honored Joe for his political leadership with the creation of the Joe E. “Hawk” Fuller Lawmaker of the Year Award, aka The Hawk Award, to be bestowed annually in perpetuity to a deserving legislator.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 21 years, Vickie Evans Fuller, daughters Lesleigh Fuller Carmichael (Jamey) of Brentwood, TN, Lura Fuller Denson (CD) of Mountain Brook, Sydney Fuller McDonough (Griffin) of Hoover; six grandchildren, Anna Lauryn Carmichael, Karaley Brooke Carmichael, Martha Mae Sara Denson, Jackson Ryan McDonough, Fuller Barrow Denson, and Emma Claire McDonough; Half-Brother Lehman Stegall of Destin, FL; and Half-Sisters Ada Duos of Shreveport, LA, and Michelle Brown of Lillian, AL; and many wonderful and dear friends too numerous to count.
Like a Hawk ever attentive on his perch, Joe saw opportunities and intimate details most others did not. He was a man of vision, a ‘larger than life’ figure, and generous to a fault. He enjoyed fellowship and bringing people together, an influencer for good. Joe was devoted to Christ and loved his family and friends completely.
The Hawk forever rests on his nest.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Rideout’s Valley Chapel located at 1800 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, AL 35209.
Funeral service will be held on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Southside Baptist Church located at 1016 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35205. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery of Birmingham.
In lieu of flower, the family requests memorials to Southside Baptist Church or the American Heart Association.
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Friday, October 15, 2021