City honors Mike Fulford, landscape architect who died at age 62

Headed up projects throughout city for 30 years

Mike Fulford, who served as a landscape architect for the city of Pleasanton for 30 years, died Sept. 22, two days after his 62nd birthday.

Born on Sept. 20, 1953, he graduated from Grace M. Davis High School in Modesto, attended Modesto Junior College and received his bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

He joined the Pleasanton city staff on Sept. 23, 1985 as a landscape designer/inspector and was promoted to Landscape Architect on October 3, 1988. He had retired in June 2012, but not satisfied with his already vast legacy of projects, he returned to the his job until earlier this year when an illness prevented him from continuing to work.

"We suffered a great loss when Mike passed," said Nelson Fialho, city manager. "They say dying comes to all but death to no one, and given Mike's enormous contributions to Pleasanton, visible in every park and on every street, he surely remains with us in all the beauty he created throughout the city."

In addition to the Firehouse Arts Center, Ken Mercer Sports Park, Alviso Adobe Community Park, Bernal Community Park and a significant portion of the city's 44 parks, Mr. Fulford also contributed to the design of downtown Pleasanton and the city's public arts program.

"The city was Mike's canvas and he painted on it beautifully, fostering a colorful and vivid landscape through his three decades of service," Fialho added.

The city has ordered its flag to fly at half-staff for one day in honor of Mr. Fulford. and in recognition

He is survived by his two daughters, Emily and Hannah.

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7 people like this
Posted by Jack Balch
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2015 at 10:51 am

Mike, you will truly be missed... My deepest thanks for all that you've done for Pleasanton, from design and insight to kind words and thoughtful guidance. Your contributions to Pleasanton are everywhere and we are forever grateful and blessed. My deepest condolences and prayers to your family.

8 people like this
Posted by Jennifer Pearce
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm

It broke my heart to hear the news that Mike had passed. He was a source of knowledge and wisdom for me in my time on the Planning Commission and always a joy to work with. Pleasanton was blessed with his work and I am thankful that Mike will live on in the beauty he created for our town. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.

8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I spoke with Michael Fulford often. I interviewed Michael a couple of times regarding city owned trees. He informed me once that, the value of city owned trees was "conservatively estimated at $50 million". Yes, that was all Michael Fulfords work.

Like this comment
Posted by Jon Reed
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2015 at 7:48 pm

He was such a kind person, always willing to help and full of passion for life. Does anyone know if there is a service planned? I would really like to attend.

7 people like this
Posted by Kurt Kummer
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 25, 2015 at 12:11 am

Mike Fulford was a wonderful landscape architect. That's true. And a great Pleasanton employee. That's true too. But more than that Mike Fulford was a great friend: funny, smart and an inspiration to anyone who knew him. Who could ask for anything more? Thanks for everything Mike. The City of Pleasanton is a better place thanks to you. You will be with us forever.

10 people like this
Posted by Herb Ritter
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Sep 25, 2015 at 8:32 am

Mike was such a mentor to all of us who volunteer on city commissions, committees, and task forces. His positive attitude and sense of "realism" helped balance feelings and needs for our residence and city leaders. You will be missed but your stamp on the city of PLEASANTON will never be forgotten.

6 people like this
Posted by Robert Crudup
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Sep 25, 2015 at 9:10 am

Our company workded with Mike over 35 years in supplying trees to many of the projects that Mike had in his portfolia. We knew Mike as a friend, a peer in the landscape industry, and a visionary in crafting the urban forest for the next generation. He had a quick smile and a keen eye that he brought to everything that he touched.

5 people like this
Posted by Jim Bowe
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 25, 2015 at 11:01 am

Probably like everyone, in my association with Mike over many years, I found him to be always intelligent, sensitive, helplful, and a fine representative of our city. He was a good guy. I will miss him and his friendly advice. There's a tree that definitely reminds me of Mike; I'll give it a hug and thank him for all he did.

4 people like this
Posted by Brad
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 25, 2015 at 1:15 pm

I have done business in many cities. Mike was a classic. Smart, sensitive, common sense. A real problem solver.
It was a pleasure to know him and work with him

2 people like this
Posted by Michael Pirozzoli
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm

What a loss. I worked with Mike when I was on the community committee for the development of the Pleasanton Tennis Park. Great guy; my condolences to his family.

2 people like this
Posted by Julie Testa
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Sep 25, 2015 at 5:19 pm

I am very sorry to learn about Mike. He was always pleasant to work with. He did love our trees.

5 people like this
Posted by Jerry Pentin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2015 at 2:51 pm

It was really sad news to learn that Mike had passed. Like all of the responses on this blog I too had a wonderful relationship with Mike. Absolutely he was a wonderful landscape architect. His work is all over our beautiful city. And his dedication was resolute. I considered Mike, at first, a great city staffer to work with, then he became a mentor and all of that was superseded by the friendship that ensued. I will miss Mike. This city will miss Mike. But what a the trees he was so adamantly supportive of...his legacy will grow over time. He will be missed.

2 people like this
Posted by Pam Hardy
a resident of Ironwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:52 am

I am profoundly saddened that Mike has passed. He was truly taken from us too soon. I worked with Mike for nearly two decades and I was always grateful for his knowledge, practical approach, and professionalism. Above all, I deeply enjoyed our long conversations together and our shared sense of humor. Mike could always make me laugh and I always felt better after talking with him. I will always be reminded of Mike when I see our trees, trails and parks in Pleasanton, and Im grateful our paths in life crossed.

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