Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton
In the spring of 1953, Ira A. Fulton met Mary Lou Henson on the campus of Arizona State University through mutual friends. Soon the young couple realized that they were meant to be together. They were wed on June 26, 1954. The Fultons had three children, Lori, Gregory and Douglas, and through the years, have welcomed sixteen grandchildren and six great-children into the family. Their extended family includes the employees of two family-owned businesses: Eagleson’s Bigg and Tall (1976-1995) and Fulton Homes (1975-the present day).
When their son Greg was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Fulton faced the biggest challenge of their life together. Although Greg was still young, strong and feisty and the family employed all the resources that love and money could provide, he lived only three more years, passing away on November 26, 2011.
The Fultons established the Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disorders Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in 2011 to honor Greg, thank Barrow for the care he received there and reaffirm the values that have sustained them through the years: kindness, love, caring, giving and faith. They also established the Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton Chair in Motor Neuron Disease at the center.
In addition to their generous contributions to Barrow, Mr. and Mrs. Fulton have supported many other non-profit organizations, including Arizona State University, Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Utah Valley University and Huntsman Cancer Foundation. In 2006, BusinessWeek listed Mr. and Mrs. Fulton as 36th on its list of “The Most Generous Philanthropists.”