Red Pulliam was
a member and past president of the
Fluvanna Ruritan Club
Obituary from the Fork Union Baptist Church Facebook page:
Robert Lee “Red” Pulliam, of Fork Union, passed from this life in his home surrounded by his family, June 22, 2015. He was 87. Red was born in Martinsville, Virginia on August 11, 1927. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years, Patsy; his parents, Samuel and Myrtle Pulliam, and his two brothers Joseph and James Pulliam.
After graduating from Martinsville High School, Red Pulliam served his country in the U.S. Army and was a proud member of the 82nd Airborne Division. He graduated from Randolph Macon College where he was the captain of the football team.
Fork Union Military Academy was the centerpiece of Red Pulliam’s life. During his 40 years there he served in a number of prominent roles. Red became the school’s first Director of Development and also was named the Academy’s chief operations officer. Twice he served the Academy as its Interim President. Upon his arrival at Fork Union in 1956 he was known as teacher, for 20 years he was known as Colonel Pulliam, Commandant of Cadets, but no name or title given him at the school did he cherish more than “Coach.” For 26 years, Red was Fork Union’s head Post Graduate football coach. During this time he compiled a remarkable 170-69-7 record. He taught life lessons on the gridiron, and took enormous pride in the accomplishments of his players long after they left FUMA.
Following his retirement in 1995 Pulliam continued his service to the Academy as a member of the Board of Trustees. In 2009 he was inducted into the FUMA Sports Hall of Fame.
Red Pulliam humbly bore the name “Christian”. He was God’s man in every walk of life, including Fork Union Baptist Church where he was a member for 59 years and served as a deacon, trustee, and teacher of God’s Word. He remained active in community leadership following his retirement from the Academy. He was a past master of the Fork Union Masonic Lodge, served as a member of the American Legion, and was past president of the Fluvanna Ruritan Club. He was active in the establishment of the Fluvanna Heritage Trail and was honored in 2001 by the American Hiking Society as Virginia Volunteer of the Year. In 2011, he was the recipient of the “Unsung Virginian Award” presented by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.
Red Pulliam is survived by his daughters, Karen Bowles and her husband, Roger, and Lynn Fender and her husband, Duane; sisters, Joan Cecil, and Verona Hall and her husband, Husky; grandchildren, Kip Campbell and his wife Kat, Lauren Reed and her husband, Danny, Lindsay Owanesian and her husband, Chris; his pride and joy, his three great grandchildren, Addison Campbell, Izabella Campbell, and Macon Reed; and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family members.
Visitation will be Saturday evening, June 27th, from 6pm-8pm in Hatcher Hall on the Fork Union Military Academy campus. Funeral services will be conducted on Sunday, June 28th, at 2pm in the Academy’s Wicker Chapel. After the service, friends are invited to celebrate a life well lived at a reception held at the home of Roger and Karen Pulliam Bowles, at 5520 James Madison Hwy, Fork Union VA. The family will join the celebration after a brief, private burial service at Fork Union Memorial Cemetery.
The family would like to extend their deep gratitude to Dr. Randal Bashore, Dr. Kyle Brett Whitlow, and Dr. Jeffrey Weiss for their knowledgeable guidance, and extraordinary care. Special thanks to Lori and Olivia Moody, and to Kelsi Critzer, also.
Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to: Fork Union Military Academy-Pulliam Fund/PO Box 278 Fork Union, VA 23055, or to Fork Union Baptist Church-General Fund/PO Box 67 Fork Union, VA 23055.