James W. Cullen, age 86, died at St. Mary's at Asbury Ridge in Erie on Thursday, January 20, 2011 following a battle with cancer. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 7, 1924, son of the late Walter J. and Teresa O'Rourke Cullen. Jim graduated from Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit and attended the University of Detroit. He served with the U.S. Army during World War II as a First Sergeant in a weapons platoon and was awarded the Bronze Star, European Theater Ribbon with three Bronze Stars, and numerous other personal and unit citations. Jim worked at Firch Baking Company from 1961 and retired as its President in 1980. He later worked at Insurance Management Company. He served on the boards of many Erie area charities including St. Vincent Health Center, Catholic Social Services, Serra Club, Cathedral Prep, Villa Maria Academy, Erie Center for the Blind, and Rotary Club. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Rebecca Marie Cullen, in 1977 and his brother, Donald W. Cullen. He is survived by the love of his life, best friend, and wife of 64 years, Eileen Schneider Cullen; ten children, James D. Cullen and Rose, Kathleen A. Meola, Robert D. Cullen, Nancy M. Cullen, Doreen T. Rosenbaum and her husband William, David M. Cullen, Joseph T. Cullen and his wife Connie, Daniel T. Cullen and his wife Annette, Brian P. Cullen and his wife Ellen, Carol A. Hutzel and her husband David C. Hutzel, M.D.; 21 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Also survived by his sister, Rita Marie LaVoie, and many nieces and nephews. Friends may call at the Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1595 West 38th Street at Greengarden Boulevard, on Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. and are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Peter Cathedral at 1 p.m. on Monday. Private burial at Laurel Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary's at Asbury Ridge, 4855 West Ridge Road, Erie, PA 16506-1213; Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Center Foundation, 100 Barber Place, Erie, PA 16507-1863; St. Peter Cathedral, 230 West Tenth Street, Erie, PA 16501-1457; or the James W. and Eileen V. Cullen Charitable Fund at The Erie Community Foundation, 459 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16507-1215. Condolences at bruggerfuneralhomes.com.
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Jan. 22, 2011