Utah wildlife educator Fullenkamp remembered for devotion

Sep 27 2013 - 11:21pm

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Keith Fullenkamp
DWR courtesy photo
Keith Fullenkamp
DWR courtesy photo

OGDEN -- Those who worked with Keith Fullenkamp say he was an exemplary steward of Utah's wildlife resources and a devoted teacher who helped hundreds, if not thousands, of children get interested in the outdoors.

A public funeral will be held Monday in Ogden for Fullenkamp, a 37-year-old sergeant with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources who died earlier this week in a head-on traffic accident in Wyoming while returning from an elk hunting trip in Colorado.

He joined the DWR in 2005 after spending two years as a conservation officer in Salmon, Idaho. When he got the Utah job, he and his wife moved to Clearfield, and after moving around the state, he took a sergeant position with the agency's Northern Region and relocated to South Weber.

To Fullenkamp's co-workers, his death dealt a devastating blow to a tight-knit agency in which most everyone knows everyone else, said Capt. Torrey Christophersen, who helps manage DWR operations statewide.

"I didn't work directly with him a whole lot, but we're a pretty small agency," Christophersen said.

Christophersen said the best word to describe Fullenkamp would be devotion.

"He was extremely supportive, not only to our wildlife and resources, but in his work with kids as well," he said.

Fullenkamp recently organized a youth duck hunt that drew somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 kids, Christophersen added.

"He put it together behind the scenes," he said. "It was an amazing feat. He did an outstanding job."

The public is invited to a funeral service for Fullenkamp at 11 a.m. Monday at Weber State University's Dee Events Center, 4400 Harrison Blvd., Ogden. There will be no graveside service.

Family and close friends will hold a private viewing on Sunday. A second memorial service will be held in Ohio, where he was born and raised, at a later date.

The Sgt. Keith Fullenkamp Memorial Fund has been created and donations may be made at any U.S. Bank location nationwide.

Fullenkamp is survived by his wife Tanna, 1-year-old son Jake, his parents and three siblings, among numerous other relatives.

"It's just sad," Christophersen said. "You can't prepare for something like this."

He said the DWR has been receiving support and condolences from law enforcement agencies all around the country.

"We've been getting calls from Maine to California," he said. "It's really a testament to Keith. He touched an awful lot of lives."

Contact reporter Jeff DeMoss at 801-625-4263, jdemoss@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @jkdemoss.

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