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One News Now

Physician and N.C. Lawmaker, Rep. Jim Fulghum Goes Home to Great Physician

By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
July 21, 2014

Jim Fulghum

Jim Fulghum

Members of the Legislature joined friends, relatives, former patients and associates in mourning the death of Rep. Jim Fulghum (R-Wake), a retired neurosurgeon and philanthropist who passed away July 19 from cancer.

“We are saddened by the passing of our good friend and fellow representative, Dr. Jim Fulghum. He was an accomplished retired neurosurgeon, but he knew the Lord as his Great Physician,” said Rep. Bert Jones (R-Caswell).

“His courageous battle with cancer is over, and now he is perfectly healed for eternity,” Jones added, referencing John 14:1-6. “Please join us in prayers for his family.”

The 70-year-old was finishing his first term in the N.C. House when he was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach and esophagus on June 28. By July 3 he had canceled his bid for a seat in the N.C. Senate.

“Though his career in the General Assembly was cut short, his life was well-lived and will long affect those who came in contact with him,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.

Supporters of the League may remember Fulghum as one of the sponsors of Dr. Ben Carson’s appearance at an event to benefit Upper Room Christian Academy held last year, the first of what Fulghum said he hoped would become an annual fundraiser.

“Ben Carson and his family have been an inspiration to those of us who love the Lord and the leadership that He requires of those with talent and capability,” Rep. Fulghum said at the time, further describing his belief that “education is the key to fulfilling the Lord’s wish for all of us to be all that we can be.”

A significant supporter of a variety of health-related bills in the House, Rep. Fulghum recently helped fellow lawmakers understand what happens in the brains of children during seizures and the need to approve hemp oil for the treatment of intractable seizure disorders.

Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) said Fulghum’s leadership as a lawmaker was “second only to his compassion and expertise as a doctor serving his constituents and the state of North Carolina.”

Fulghum’s wife, Mary Susan Fulghum, also a physician, described their years together as “rich and full.”

“We had a wonderful life together,” she told WRAL. The couple dated in high school, attended medical school together and were married for 47 years. They have two grown daughters, one of whom worked as Jim Fulghum’s legislative assistant at the General Assembly.

Having won the Republican primary for Senate District 15, the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Neal Hunt (R-Wake), Rep. Fulghum was set to face Democrat Tom Bradshaw in the fall. Businessman John “Johnny Mac” Alexander Jr. has been chosen to run in his place.