David Ivan Fuller, 67, passed away in his sleep Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at his home in Mount Pleasant. He was a singular man by any measure.
David was born Aug. 4, 1949 in San Diego, Calif., son of the late Henry Ivan Fuller and the late Edna Louise Price Fuller. He was virtually a force of nature. For a substantial part of his career, he wore a suit and sold advertising for television station Channel 4. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
The real David Fuller was a legend in the music field. He was a creative genius, and as honest a man as ever walked this earth. In high school, he was known to sneak out of his bedroom window and wind up at local music venues to hear rhythm and blues and rock 'n roll music. Soon thereafter, he played in several bands, including Stop, Look, and Listen and the Geechie Boys. His band, Lion, opened for the Allman Brothers Band on their legendary Idlewild South tour.
Not only did David sing like a preacher, he collaborated with other songwriters to produce and record several albums while attending the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He then graduated with a degree in journalism but was not ready to settle down to a nine-to-five job.
In Columbia, he formed a band called Zig Zig and the Road Dogs comprised of Frank Smoak, Tommy Toglio, Rick Peterson, and Warren Moise. After stints playing music in Atlanta and tending bar on the sea islands, he returned to Charleston to marry.
It was upon his return to Charleston that David's talent really flowered. David joined The Riviera's, exchanging his bass guitar for a piano. He was an original member of the East Coast Party Band, formed as The Riviera's disbanded. David remained a member for 20 years, sharing lead vocalist duties while playing piano. His voice was a combination of Brother Ray Charles and the New Orleans soul of Dr. John. It was a powerful, unique singing style that was all his own. David attended Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, where he sometimes played in the praise band.
Possibly one event brings to mind David's intense will to survive. It happened many years ago at the Blessing of the Fleet in Mount Pleasant. He was fighting a life-and-death battle with cancer. Thin as a rail, many of his friends believed he would not live past Christmas and was in no condition to play music in the heat. Just before the performance began, everyone was amazed to see David wading through the crowd with an IV bag in hand. David Ivan Fuller proceeded to climb onto the plywood stage, put the IV bag on the side of his piano, and sang and played rhythm and blues for the rest of the day.
His creativity continued to expand. David wrote two books and produced three CDs of original music. He was a friend to all who knew him, a true Uomo Universale, and a proud, husband, father, and grandfather.
In addition to his wife, Catherine Peterson Fuller, he is survived by his son, David Ivan Fuller, Jr. (wife, Dana) of Chicago, Ill.; twin granddaughters, Sophie and Claire Fuller; his sister, Deborah Louise Zimbro (husband, George); niece, Megan Louise Stender and children; aunt, Elizabeth Kempson; brother-in-law, Daniel and Rhonda Peterson; niece, Lisa Anne and Thomas Stevens; brother-in-law, Greg and Gabbie Porter; nephews, Charlie, Townsend, and Pete Porter; and sister-in-law, Tina and Rette Kirkland.
A Celebration of His Life will be held Sunday, June 25, 2017 at the J. HENRY STUHR, INC., MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL, 1494 Mathis Ferry Rd., at 2:00 p.m. The family will receive friends following the service at their home.
Memorials may be made to Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 583, Mount Pleasant, SC 29465.