Sharon Abra Fullilove, known on-air on Albuquerque’s KOB-TV Eyewitness News morning show as Sharon Erickson, died too young at the age of 30 after complications from heart surgery. “Awesome” and “amazing” were two of her favorite words, and they also described her enthusiastic approach to life.
She started working at KOB-TV in January 2011. Morning show host Antoinette Antonio said they became fast friends quickly and went to see the show “Wicked” together. “She knew the words to every single song and sang them at the top of her lungs,” said Antonio. “It’s just so hard to say goodbye, so I’ll just say see you later.”
Sharon could sing, dance, paint, write and report and did it all with enthusiasm. She loved sushi, but hated salmon. She loved pepperoni pizza. She lived life with passion and wanted to try everything. She loved to laugh and to make other people laugh.
A video montage showed pictures from infancy to adulthood, set to “Over The Rainbow” as sung by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo`ole, clips from her reporting videos, Sharon karaoke singing Jewel’s “Near You Always,” and photos of her set to “Look At You Girl” by Chris Ledoux. Her father Richard Fullilove then sang a moving rendition of “You Are My Sunshine.”
Steve Stucker, KOB-TV’s morning show weatherman, spoke about Sharon’s life and divine design. “She made friends everywhere she went because she was a friend. Her life was just too short. We ask why? We don’t know, for now, there’s no way to make sense of it. There’s a hole in our hearts.”
Sharon was an organ donor, and many lives are being saved as a result of her choice. Stucker read a letter from New Mexico Donor Services that said in death she continues to live – three people live because of her organs, she gave sight to two people through her corneas, and the donation of her tissue will improve the quality of life for as many as 100 people.
He went on to say, “We in the media report a lot on disaster and death, and we can become hardened. I know this will affect the way we cover news going forth.”
“Life is all about love. Love God and love others the way you love yourself. God comforts us so we can comfort others. The pain you feel about Sharon today will help you to comfort others in the future.”
“We all die. There’s no way any of us are getting out of here alive. Consider your mortality. Have you made your peace with God? Open up your heart and talk to your Creator. Start the conversation. God speaks to you when you are at your lowest.”
“The Bible says that no man knows how our days are numbered and which day will be our last. Realize that life is short and a true gift from God. Enjoy beauty in every day. Forgive wrongs done to you and ask forgiveness of others. Live a life that is ‘full of love’.”
Stucker ended with his customary newscast sign off, “Take some time to really enjoy your life today, and may God bless.”
The song “I Can Only Imagine” was played with the words projected on the two large screens in the New Covenant Church sanctuary. The service finished with Psalm 61 and a chant praising God.
If the weather allows, the morning after this service, her cremated remains will get a hot air balloon ride from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – her first.
The family received visitors at the front of the sanctuary. Cookies and punch were offered out in the lobby, along with information on becoming an organ donor.
In lieu of flowers (although there were many bouquets at the service) people are asked to donate to New Mexico Donor Services, 1609 University Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87102. A broadcast journalism scholarship in Sharon’s name is being established at UNM. Contact Yolanda Dominguez, Development Officer at UNM, email@example.com.