Medical 05


September 9, 1940 ~ March 20, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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Ask anyone that knew her who Ima Jean Fulcher was and without fail they would tell you, “She was my best friend”. You’ll see the smiles that immediately beam across their faces; watch them erupt into laughter as they recall fond memories with her and as the tears flow from the news of her loss, you will witness the ripples of her love wash over them as they share stories about all the ways that simply knowing had changed the tides.

Jean was a force of nature; a rock in the lives of many. She was a breath of fresh air in any room. A fiery personality, with lighting quick wit and warm loving nature. That woman was a light and at one point or another, each of us has felt like moths to her flame.

She understood joy. She demanded it of every occasion. She had a way of tricking you out of your bad mood. A magic way of reminding you of gratitude and a smooth way of getting you to remember the goodness of God. She could locate the blessing in any situation. Could fast talk her way out of just about any situation. She was a down-to-earth girl who took most of her life with a grain of salt. She had a knack for treating today’s bad moments like they were just material for tomorrow’s good story. 

And Ima Jean Fulcher had a really good story.

She was born on Monday, September 9, 1940, to Herman and Georgann Pellum of Long Branch, Texas. The fifth child in a line-up of thirteen, affectionately referred to as “Omma Jean”, Probably because she was the child most like her Momma. A gentle and genuine soul, she came into this world with a clarity of purpose, somehow knowing that loving and caring for others was just simply a part of what she was here to do.

 A born mover and shaker, Jean was a “doer” who never believed in letting grass grow under her feet. She was known as the kid in the house nobody could ever find because she was always on the move. In her early teens, she left Texas and moved to California where she lived on a reservation for a number of years. She graduated from Palm Springs High School to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a Nurse, a profession she proudly served in for over two decades.

Even off work, she was a caregiver. She just believed in taking care of folks, it was her nature. She never met a stranger in her whole life. She loved everybody; she was famous for taking in people off the streets. Her home was a refuge for many and one of the family’s favorite spaces to retreat. Family was one of the things that Jean valued most in this world, and just about every person she encountered in her community instantly became a part of hers.

She met Wardell Ward to whom she was married for 11 years. In 1967, their union gave birth to her firstborn, a beautiful baby girl named Rachael Ward. Jean moved her family to long beach, California and shortly after that, she and Wardell were separated.  She would soon meet Alvin Fulcher, The man to become her best friend, her partner in life, and parent to their second baby girl, Shannon Fulcher. On June 30, 1973, she gave Alvin her hand in marriage; and on her final day, she left this earth exactly that way, holding his hand.

For Jean, motherhood was another lifelong dream and passion. Growing up she often talked with her sister about wanting to have as many children as her parents had. Despite only birthing two daughters, her heart and household knew no boundaries so adopted a daughter and she became a foster mother. She leaned into that role powerfully, impacting changes in the lives of over 15 children as well as changes within the foster care system itself. She loved so powerfully, that she was featured in multiple publications and recognized by CBS and Time Warner Cable as one of San Diego’s 50 Best Moms. Her service as a foster mother was also recognized at a Gala event by Antwain Fisher and Dr. Maya Angelou.

She was an accomplished entrepreneur and small business owner; she was a licensed cosmetologist and nail technician. She owned her own nail shop and operated out of several locations around San Diego. She was widely known for her sense of humor and her immaculate sense of style. She really loved to put it on. She spent a whole lot of money on hangers; If her closets could talk, they would scream  “Y’all, please don’t let her add another thing!”.

Ima Jean did a lot of things with her time here on this planet. She means the world to so many of the people she has left behind. If you were to ask Jean about her day, no matter what kind of a day she had, in the end, she would say, “It was beautiful.” There are no more fitting words to capture her soul, no better words to summarize the story of her legacy, her life, and her love. It was beautiful.

Ima Jean is preceded in death by her parents Herman and Georgann Pellum. Her siblings Fred Pellum, Birdie Mae Clipper, Inez Pellum, Lines Pellum, Flora Jean Pellum, and Windell Pellum. And her nieces Elisha Young, Shaweshi Trim, and Georgann Wash.

Her love lives on through her husband Alvin Fulcher. Through her daughters Shannon Fulcher, Rachael Ward, and Ivy Andrews, and through Dairrick Khalil Hodges, her son.

She leaves and legacy of grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Adrienne Mahan, Aaren Russell, Kiera Wash, Demani Age, Naajee Hayes, and Asha Hayes. Ryan Mahan, Kennedi Mahan, Daygo Mahan. Kiyoko Taylor, Kiari Porter, Kiyomi Porter, and Kianni Porter. Zane Age, Xolani, and Rafael Age.

She entrusts her matriarchy to her sisters Gracie Ann Pellum, Brandy Pellum, Dean Pellum, Margret Pellum, Leigh Pellum, and her brother Billy Pellum.

She leaves behind a tribe of cherished nieces and nephews. And many, many other family members, loved ones, and friends.


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April 17, 2023

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Anderson~Ragsdale Chapel
5050 Federal Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92102

Homegoing Celebration
April 18, 2023

11:00 AM
Anderson~Ragsdale Chapel
5050 Federal Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92102

April 18, 2023



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