Earl "Poppy" Fusselman

Earl “Poppy” Fusselman – An Iowa farm boy’s full life of service to others.

Early Fusselman of Corona del Mar, CA passed away Saturday morning November 30, 2013.  Earl was 96 years old.  Earl, known as “Poppy” by his family, was married to Gigi for 44 years. Together they raised a son, Gene Pickard, and a daughter, Jaye Benson.  Earl never took off his wedding ring after Gigi passed away in 1988, nearly 25 years ago.  Today Earl leaves behind, his brother Ralph living in Iowa and his sister Hazel, living in Northern California.  Poppy’s family includes four grandchildren, Kris Carnahan, Dale, Keith and Kevin Pickard and nine great grandchildren.

Earl was born September 3, 1917 in Garnet, Kansas.   Fusselman’s family moved to Bridgewater, Iowa in December 1917.  In December 1940, Earl enlisted in the United States Army.  During his four years in service he rose to the rank of Captain.
After discharge, from 1944 to 1965 Earl started his own dry-cleaning operation in Bell, California, eventually owning a chain of seven dry cleaning plants in Southeast Los Angeles County.  From 1965 to 1988, he was a real estate broker and appraiser in Orange County, California.

Fusselman was very active serving his community.  Earl was just a few months shy of achieving seven decades as a Rotarian.  He served as President of the Rotary Club, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Huntington Park City Council member and Chairman of the YMCA Board of Directors.  After retiring in 1988, he served as a driver for Meals on Wheels for 10 years, an office attendant for the Hospice Family Care in Orange County for four years and a member of the Executive Board for the American Legion, Post 291 for six years.  Earl was a member of the American Legion for 22 years. 

In 1998, Fusselman was part of the first class to graduate from the Newport Beach Police Department Citizens Police Academy.  Earl served as editor of the VIP Newsletter, and patrolled parking lots and wrote tickets to those illegally parked in handicapped spots or fire lanes.  He also helped checking on vacationers’ homes and on Wednesdays he did his weekly “milk run”, when Fusselman delivers city mail to Newport Beach’s seven City Council members.  In 2001 Earl was chosen as the Newport Beach Police Department’s Volunteer of the Year.

We will all miss Poppy’s homemade spaghetti sauce, sense of humor, and his love for his family and his nearly 50 years serving others!

A memorial service will be held at 10:00am on Friday November 13, 2013 at
Pacific View Memorial Park
3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona Del Mar, CA

Following the memorial service will be a lunch reception at
The American Legion
215 E. 15th Street, Newport Beach, CA

In lieu of flowers please send a donation, to the following:

The Annual Fund
The Rotary Foundation
14280 Collection Center Drive
Chicago, Ill. 60693
In memory of Earl Fusselman, Newport-Irvine #845-5320

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