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Gardner B. Cullinan

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CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- Gardner B. Cullinan, 91, died peacefully at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington, Vt., on Saturday, March 12, 2005, with family members at his side. He was born Sept. 16, 1913 in Shushan, N.Y., the second son of Edward and Frances “Fannie” (Bentley) Cullinan.

Gardner attended Cambridge Union School and graduated in 1931. Following a year of postgraduate study, he joined the A&P corporation, ending his service with that company in 1937 as manager of the A&P store in Saratoga Springs.

Empire Super Markets (where Greenberg’s now stands) recruited Gardner to become their manager of the Bennington store, where he remained until the war years.

Gardner joined the National Guard in 1940. With World War II pending, he received his basic training at Camp Blanding, Fla., and was assigned as weapons platoon leader of Company I after completion of officers school in Georgia. He attained the rank of captain while in charge of Company K in the 417th Infantry of the 76th Division. While overseas, he participated in the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Echternacht. He was discharged as a major and upon his return to the states Gardner remained a partner in the Cambridge Hinge Tube and Chaplet Works (a business undertaken originally by his father that during the war made detonator housing triggers) and soon bought out the business leased by Charles John Stevenson, The Washington County Post, America’s oldest weekly newspaper (est. 1788). He was owner-editor-publisher until 1961. During this time he served the community as mayor of Cambridge and as supervisor of the town of White Creek.

On Sept. 3, 1949, he married Constance Moseley of Cambridge.

For many years Gardner served as president of the board of directors of Mary McClellan Hospital and in 1966, at the behest of the board, due to a vacancy, became hospital administrator for that facility until his retirement in 1978. During his tenure he oversaw the concept and construction of the extended care facility on the same grounds. He was called upon to testify before congressional panels many times in Washington, D.C., concerning a topic he felt very strongly about, the containment of hospital health care costs.

On Memorial Day 2002, Gardner was honored by the village of Cambridge with a key to the village and was the grand marshal of the annual Memorial Day parade. For many years he served as master of ceremonies for the annual Cambridge firemen’s banquets.

During his retirement, he thoroughly enjoyed mowing his expansive lawn and could often be seen wearing his floppy hat on sunny days. He also enjoyed his travels to the state of Maine for deep-sea fishing with his family and friends. He would often be seen traveling to the IGA store with his dog and would always pause to engage anyone in (lengthy) conversation.

His memberships included being a charter member of the Bennington Elks No. 567, a 50-year member of the Cambridge-Salem Masonic Lodge No. 481, a 50-year member of the Captain Maxson American Legion Post 634, a member of the National World War II Memorial organization in Washington, D.C., and a charter member of the Cambridge Breakfast Flakes.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Connie Cullinan; one brother, Stuart Cullinan of Orange Park, Fla.; two sons, John Cullinan and his wife Debbie of Sunderland, Vt., Robert Cullinan and his wife Breght of St. Petersburg, Fla.; one daughter, Pamela Cullinan-Brown of Arlington, Vt.; two grandsons; one granddaughter and one great-grandson.

There will be no calling hours.

A memorial service will be held in the late spring at a time to be announced.

Interment will be in the G. B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville.

The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in his memory to the American Diabetes Foundation, Box 1131, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131.

Arrangements are by the Ackley & Ross Funeral Home, 73 West Main St., Cambridge.
Published in Bennington Banner from Mar. 14 to Mar. 15, 2005
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