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Ramon Conrad Fuller passed away peacefully on November 25, 2023, at the age of 93. He was born to Conrad and Burnice Fuller on July 26th 1930. In his early childhood the family lived in a small adobe home on the Fuller family farm in Murray Utah. He was the oldest of three, followed by his sister Mary and then his brother Brian.
Their mother Burnice was a highly accomplished violinist and it was at her knee that Ramon gained his love of music. As a young man, he often accompanied his mother on the piano while she performed.
Ramon began pursuing his musical goals as a child by taking piano lessons from his Uncle Noel Fuller. He continued his piano studies with Barbara Stucke after his family moved to Roy, Utah.
Ramon graduated from Davis High School in 1948. He attended Weber State College and received an Associate degree, after which he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Minnesota. While he was there, he met several people of Finnish descent which, he often jokingly said, prepared him to later meet his Finnish wife.
Upon returning from his mission, Ramon attended BYU, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory and Composition.
Next, he served in the US Army during the Korean War as part of the occupying force in Germany. During his time stationed there, he enjoyed travels to France and Italy while on leave. A few years later, he utilized the German language skills that he acquired while in the military in his doctoral studies at the University of Illinois.
In the twilight of his life while living in the Salt Lake Veterans Home, Ramon expressed that he was very proud to have served in the Army but pointedly stated that others had sacrificed much, much more for their country.
After an honorable discharge from the Army, Ramon returned to BYU to earn his Master of Arts in music theory and composition. It was here that he met a beautiful Finnish foreign student named Raili Syrjä. As he was finishing up his Masters and preparing to leave for the University of Illinois to begin his doctoral studies, he told Raili, “I think I’ll take you with me,” to which she responded, “But you haven’t asked me to marry you!” Presumably they figured it out because they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 4, 1958. Their honeymoon was a road trip to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. They spent 59 wonderful years walking hand-in-hand until Raili passed away in 2017.
A year after they married, Ramona arrived on the scene as the oldest of two daughters. Kristina followed after two and a half years, entering the world in Salt Lake City. They adored their loving father, who never raised a harsh word. As they became proficient on the flute and violin, Ramon was always available as a willing and very able accompanist.
Ramon finished his Doctorate of Musical Arts at State University of New York at Buffalo. As a Creative Associate there, he designed and administered the electronic music studio. He taught music theory, composition, and electronic music in Buffalo and subsequently at Indiana University School of Music. He published several articles on music theory and had compositions in both electronic and traditional media performed in Carnegie Hall, Buffalo, NY, Champaign, IL, and also in Provo, Salt Lake City, and Farmington, UT.
Many of Ramon’s earlier works were “avant-garde” electronic compositions as well as modern classical music for acoustic instruments. In his later years he was more inclined toward traditional instruments, harmonies, and formats. He arranged several hymns for choir and small orchestra. He also arranged hymns for solo piano and composed original pieces for piano. Two of the choir/orchestra arrangements were performed at a Jubilee Celebration of the LDS Idaho Falls Temple in 1995.
Ramon was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his entire life. He served in many positions in his local congregations including ward executive secretary, music chair, and organist. He was an avid reader and seeker of knowledge and a prolific journal writer. He last played the piano two days before his final hospitalization.
Ramon was a gentle spirit who passed on a deep love of music to his family. A loving father and brother, he will be dearly missed by all. He is survived by his sister, Mary French (Donald), daughters Ramona Stromness (John), and Kristina Yuen (Burton), seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife Raili and his brother, Brian Fuller.
The family is deeply grateful to the residents and staff at the William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home for their friendship and thoughtful and compassionate care of Ramon over the last five years.