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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Obituary: Clive Avon “Pete” Fullerton

Musician, humanitarian, devout Catholic, family man

Pete Fullerton grew up just south of the Claremont Village in a 1951 mid-century home on St. Bonaventure Avenue. As a musically inclined kid in the 1950s, he often jammed with other teens in his garage. After graduating from Claremont High School in 1963 he joined the band We Five, a folk rock music group which found success with the 1965 hit “You Were on My Mind.”

As a CHS student, he played gigs at Claremont school festivals and local clubs along old Route 66, where he was not even old enough to enter as a patron at the time, only as a musician. Like many Claremont musicians, he visited the local haunts — admiring the guitars at Folk Music Center and playing piano at the Sugar Bowl Café. Pete played multiple instruments, including piano, guitar and bass. In his Claremont days he collaborated with the late Chris Darrow in the Re-Organized Dry City Players and later with Michael Stewart’s trio, The Ridgerunners.

The Ridgerunners later became the folk rock group We Five, which captured the “San Francisco sound,” regularly playing clubs like hungry i and Purple Onion. As the original bass playing vocalist, he and We Five toured with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars, featuring The Byrds, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Bo Didley and The Duchess. They also played with the Rolling Stones, and hundreds of concerts and television specials, including “The Bob Hope Show.”

He married the love of his life, Sue, a San Francisco nursing student, in 1966. He started a family and left We Five in 1970 to pursue a charitable project known as Truck of Love, a nonprofit organization working with unhoused people in the San Francisco area, Tijuana, Mexico and the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona.

Later moving to South Carolina to be near family, he became an ally for an unhoused community who were living in the woods. He worked avidly to help with basic care, employment and in reuniting families. In addition to his incredible voice being the trademark of his ministry, whether singing with Truck of Love groups or the gospel choir at St. Mary Catholic Church, he gave everything he had to others and loved wholly and without reservation.

He departed this life September 28, 2021. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Griffie, and brother, Gaylord.

He is survived by his brother, Darrell; children Tim, Julie, Ian, Peter and Andy; and  grandchildren Gregory, Kayleigh, Buzz, Samantha, Annie, Alissa, Ethan, Ella, Hugo, Fiona and August.

A service will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Rock Hill, S.C. in March 2022.

Years prior to his death he chronicled his journey with Truck of Love in two books, writing Old Men Dream and illustrating for Sue’s book, House of Yes. The couple’s final Truck of Love project is Her Place Women’s Shelter. Opening in Rock Hill next year, Her Place is a home for unhoused women and will be a vital part of the community.

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Pete please consider Truck of Love/Her Place Women’s Shelter at www.truckoflove.org, or by check to Truck of Love, 1455 George Dunn Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730.

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