Amherst Magazine

George L. Cullen Jr. '38

Deceased July 5, 2007
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George L. Cullen Jr.

Death came for George harrowingly.

A note from his wife, Marie, said he was stricken and fell in his driveway in Palm City, FL, while watching July 4th fireworks. With the noise and excitement of the fireworks, nobody noticed him “until a lady walking her dog saw him and ran into our house screaming, ‘Call 911.’”

Within hours, he died of a massive heart attack at the hospital in Stuart, Marie said.  It was shockingly sudden.  At ninety, George was still “quite active,” she said, “a great guy, president of the residents’ council here.”  She and their white poodle, Twister, “miss him so much . . . Twister looks for him to go on his walks every day.”

Since his retirement in 1978 as vice-president of the Philadelphia department store, Strawbridge & Clothier (now Macy’s), George and Marie moved from Bryn Mawr, PA, to Palm City.  He devoted himself to varied causes and volunteer work, including associate agent for Amherst’s annual fund.  He was one of the founders of hospice in Florida’s Martin County.  He attended a Presbyterian church.

Born in Philadelphia, George prepared for Amherst at Harrisburg Academy.  He had a brilliant college career—Phi Beta Kappa, captain of the fencing team, a member of Sphinx and of Chi Psi fraternity.  Before a twenty three-year career with Strawbridge’s, he held managerial posts in a variety of firms, including American Locomotive and American Viscose.

Besides Marie, his wife of sixty-seven years, he left a son, Robert LeFort Cullen of Beaufort, SC, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In our 1988 50th Reunion book, he wrote, “I never planned for a spectacular achievement; I mainly sought a well-rounded, active life with side efforts in those local and professional areas in which I was associated . . . My Amherst education helped me to decide what kind of life I wanted and what were some of my obligations to the world in which I lived.”

George Bria ’38

 

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