Remembering Nick Fuller
On a cool, sunny afternoon last weekend, friends and family packed together on the Bridgetender patio to celebrate the life of Tahoe City’s Nick Fuller.
Hosting the memorial, Bridgetender owner Chris Park began the celebration by toasting his friend and business partner with a shot of whiskey, encouraging others to join in as trays of Nick’s favorite ” Jack Daniels ” were passed around.
“Nick would appreciate this,” Park said while the Jack circulated the patio’s capacity crowd.
“To my good friend and partner,” toasted Park.
Following the toast, friend Gary Furumoto and brother Sam Rudnick spoke about Nick.
Furumoto, who met Nick in 1986 after coming to work for him at the Tahoe Raft and Gas, spoke of the experiences had and lessons learned while working for Nick.
“He was a big influence on me and helped me become the person I am today,” said Furumoto. “Nick was a character, but a character that was well loved around the Bridgetender, he always had time for everyone.
Rudnick, Nick’s younger brother, spoke next on the importance of friends and family.
“We all have our friends and family that we build on,” said Rudnick, “and Nick was very fortunate to have the family he had in Tahoe.”
After the scheduled speakers, the floor was open to anyone willing to share a story or remembrance. While some previous employees spoke of how great an impact Nick’s unconventional managing style had on them, others just shared stories about Nick and his role in their lives and the community.
“Nick was a part of this town’s history,” said friend Tom Tully, “he was an icon.”
The memorial celebration concluded with one of Nick’s signature rafts, “the star of his fleet,” being sent down the river full of pictures, items of remembrance and other offerings placed inside before its launch.
As the raft drifted into the distance, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played on loop in the background, a true testament to Nick’s lifestyle.
Following the ceremony, nearly everyone who attended the memorial stayed through the day to celebrate Nick, sharing laughs, tears … and a few more shots of Jack.