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History | Photo Tour | Special Thanks to Dorothy Fuller

A Special Thanks to Dorothy Fuller

Dorothy Fuller has had the benefit of exciting ties to the world of music, Hollywood, the banking business, and early San Clemente history.

She grew up singing and, as a child, was intrigued by her father’s role as a vice- president of the Bank of America, TransAmerica, and the Capitol Company (the lease- holding company for bank properties). In total, her father was 25 years with the Bank of America, having started as an employee while only 15 years of age, and when it was still the Bank of Italy.

After a hiatus from the banking arena of an additional 25 years in the motion picture business, Dorothy’s father, Thomas Leonard Walker, returned to the Bank of America as a vice-president directing motion picture financing and negotiations from the bank’s New York City office.

In those years in the entertainment industry, the senior Walker served as a vice- president of United Artist Releasing Corporation and Hal Roach Studios; treasurer of Edward Small productions, and secretary-treasurer of the Independent Motion Picture Producer’s Association. His oldest son, Thomas L. Walker, Jr. Continued in the movie business as the administrative advisor for David O. Selznick Studios and, then, as chief of the production estimation department at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, retiring from that position, but continuing the work as a consultant until 1993.

Dorothy’s relationship with the entertainment business was dynamic. It stimulated her interest in a singing career that started out with Mel Torme and the Mel Tones while she was still attending Los Angeles High School in the early 1940s. Although she was successful as a popular vocalist, she hoped to be singing with the Metropolitan Opera Company as her grandfather had. She studied in Los Angeles with Met opera coach Maestro Gennaro Curci, who was also instructor of Jerome Hines. Just as her opera career began to blossom, she met a San Clemente police officer and WWII veteran of the South Pacific, Boyd W. Ames, and her goals took a different course.

Dorothy’s love affair with San Clemente is the result of her first trip to the still tiny village in 1932. Her father handled the negotiations for the Bank of America with Ole Hanson. The two financiers became good and close friends and remained so, even though Walker was ultimately burdened with the responsibility of enforcing the bank foreclosure against Ole’s interests in the Spanish Village By The Sea.

Dorothy’s adventures in Ole’s “Dream City” continue. She and her husband, John Fuller, reside in south San Clemente. Her younger sister Doris, and her husband, Jack Lashbrook reside in the northern portion of the city. Dorothy is an untiring and devoted contributor to many local and civic organizations and, when not at her computer or scrounging through historical archives, she dotes upon her three grandchildren; Angela, Boyd Ames, III, and Alexander.

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Copyright © 2002 Ernest & Allen