McCullagh, "Desi" J. Desmond
Desmond "Desi" J. McCullagh, 73, Green Bay, WI, died unexpectedly, Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at his home. He was born on October 15, 1940, in Dublin, Ireland to the late James and Violet (Smith) McCullagh. Desi was raised in London and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Army
. He served in the Army in West Germany during the Cold War from 1958 until 1962. Desi enlisted in the United States Marine Corps
in 1963, where he served throughout the world, including Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War
. He received an honorable discharge in 1967.
Desi met his beloved wife, Patricia (Anderson), in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and they were married in Pittsburgh, PA on November 18, 1967. Desi pursued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, while also being the first person to sign a national letter of intent to play soccer for the Phoenix. Desi enjoyed a successful soccer career with the Phoenix and graduated with honors and a degree in political science. After graduating from UWGB, he was employed as the Administrator for the City of Green Bay. Desi and his family then moved to Illinois, during which time he was employed as general manager at RME Trucking, Inc. and the Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Vac-Con Equipment Company. They later moved back to Wisconsin, where he worked as a West/Southwest Sales Manager for both Leach Company and Wayne Engineering, specializing in Curbtender Automated Refuse Haulers. Desi was a member of the American Legion (Sullivan Wallen Post #11), the Knights of Columbus (Claude Allouez Council 658), and a faithful member of Resurrection Catholic Parish in Allouez. Desi also volunteered countless hours coaching youth sports throughout the years, being particularly dedicated to his passion of establishing and supporting successful youth soccer programs in his community.
He is survived by his wife of over 46 years, Patricia, and their two children and spouses: Kay (McCullagh) and Chris Handrick, De Pere, WI, and Major Kevin and Stephanie (Van Beckum) McCullagh, Fort Irwin, CA. He is further survived by his five grandchildren: Connor, Keegan, and Cullan Handrick, and Liam and Jack McCullagh; two brothers: Charles McCullagh and his wife-to-be, Janet Careswell, New City, NY, and Roy McCullagh, and his wife, Judy, State College, PA; one sister, Pat Carlson, Wellsville, OH; and other nieces, nephews, and relatives. He also leaves behind his loving and loyal golden retriever, Maxie May.
He was preceded in death by one brother, John Neal, two sisters, Freda Neal and Yvonne Littlefield, and his in-laws, Jack and Ethel Anderson.
Desi was a true Irishman, a proud Marine, a great soccer player and fan, an avid cruiser, and a Pittsburgh Steelers fan at heart. But most of all, he was a devoted husband, father, granddad, son, brother, and person in so many people's lives who will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered "… and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand."
Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., Green Bay, WI, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Sunday. Knights of Columbus prayer service, 6:45 pm Sunday, parish wake service 7:00 pm Sunday. Visitation will continue on Monday, at Resurrection Catholic Church, 333 Hilltop Dr., Green Bay, after 3:00 p.m. until time of mass. Funeral Mass 4:00 p.m. Monday at the church with Rev. John Bostwick, O.Praem officiating. In lieu of floral expressions, a memorial fund has been established in his name. On-line condolences may be sent to the McCullagh family at www.prokowall.com