Charles "Chuck" Fulhorst

May 13, 1952 - May 20, 2019
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Chuck Fulhorst died on May 20, 2019 at age 67 after a long illness.  Born in San Mateo CA in 1952, he was the son of the late George Eugene Fulhorst and his mother, Charlene Louise Fulhorst.  Chuck was raised in Santa Clara CA and graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose CA in 1970. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in 1973 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1978, both from The University of California at Davis. Between his undergraduate and DVM training, Chuck undertook certificate training as a general farrier and blacksmith and enjoyed this work and art.  From 1978 until 1990, Chuck practiced both large and small animal veterinary medicine in northern California. In 1986 he established Bayley’s Pet Care, a small animal practice in Scotts Valley CA opened to provide affordable, preventative veterinary care and services to an underserved population in Santa Cruz County, CA.  The clinic practice grew rapidly and was well-received by local residents. Throughout his career as a practicing veterinarian, Chuck’s expertise and compassion toward both animals and people earned him life-long friendships.

In 1989, Bayley’s Pet Care was sold and Chuck returned to academic study.  He earned a Master’s degree in Public Health in 1990 and a Doctor of Public Health degree in 1994, both from the University of California at Berkeley.  Chuck’s doctoral advisor and mentor was the late Dr. William C. Reeves.  With his Doctor of Public Health degree, Chuck launched a successful research career. In his first job as a post-graduate scholar he worked at Yale University in Connecticut, and was assigned to the Special Pathogens Branch of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta GA to further studies on Guanarito virus, a newly discovered hemorrhagic fever virus from Venezuela.  In 1995 Chuck joined the faculty at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston with appointments in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology.  Chuck’s experience working in high containment gained at the CDC was instrumental in UTMB’s decision to build the Robert E. Shope Laboratory as the first academic biosafety level 4 facility in the United States.  His research program at UTMB made significant contributions to the general body of knowledge on the diversity and geographic distribution of rodent-borne hantaviruses and arenaviruses and their ability to infect humans in North and South America.  Chuck progressed through academic ranks at UTMB and retired as a Professor in 2013.  During this time, Chuck was a caring mentor for post-doctoral fellows, medical residents and graduate students at multiple institutions of higher learning in Texas, Europe and South America.  Over his career, he produced nearly 100 scientific papers, book chapters and other professional publications describing new viruses and unraveling their methods of survival in nature and ability to infect and cause disease in humans. He was well-known for his quick mind, joyful teaching style, inveterate sense of humor and his love of science.  From 2013 until his death, Chuck continued to work as an adjunct Professor at UTMB and to publish scientific research articles despite the challenges of declining health.  Chuck was a life-long scholar and a well-loved mentor and teacher.  He possessed a deep and abiding appreciation for both science and people and he will be greatly missed for his professional and personal contributions to all who knew him and called him friend, teacher, colleague and beloved family member.  Throughout his adult life, he was blessed to have a dedicated wife and partner, Mary Lou, who shared his love of science and the outdoors. Together they worked side-by-side in the field and the laboratory to advance scientific understanding of rodent-borne viruses and the diseases they can cause in humans.  As his health worsened, she was constantly by his side, and the grace with which she faced these challenges was an inspiration to all who know her.

Chuck is reunited in death with his father George E. Fulhorst, sister Suzanne Rose Murphy and brother Donald “Cricket” George Fulhorst.  He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Mary Lou Milazzo, his mother Charlene L. Fulhorst, his sister Suzanne’s children Daniel, Devlin, James and their children, his brother Paul Dean Fulhorst and sons Carter and Harrison, his sister Georgeanne “GiGi” Louise  Matarangas and her children George and Olivia, his aunt Judy Gerke and cousins Keven and Russell Homewood and by numerous extended family members, in-laws and friends.

Chuck’s family wish to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff of La Vita Bella Assisted Living, Essential Hospice and Palliative Care, and numerous individuals who provided compassionate and generous care to Chuck at UTMB clinics and hospitals and at Dr. Jon Carman’s dental practice in Galveston TX.  In lieu of flower donations, the family suggests monetary donations to Shriners Hospital for Children or the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  A scholarship fund will be established at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose CA.  Please contact Mary Lou Milazzo for details.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church of Holy Family Parish at 14th St. and Broadway in Galveston TX on July 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.  A reception to celebrate Chuck’s life with a buffet lunch will follow immediately at Saint Patrick’s Church social hall, 1010 35th St. (35th and Broadway), also in Galveston TX.  Interment will be in his native California in August 2019.

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Service Schedule

Service Information

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2019

Time: 10:00 am

Sacred Heart Catholic Church


1302 Broadway
Galveston, TX 77550

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Reception Information

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2019

Time: 11:00 am

St. Patrick Catholic Church


1010 35th St. & Broadway
Galveston, TX 77550

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Reception will be in the Social Hall at the church following mass.


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Timeline for Charles Fulhorst

Born: May 13, 1952
Died: May 20, 2019

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