Genelle Y. McCullough, 93, of Springfield, and formerly of New Berlin, died 7:15 a.m. Monday, June 17, 2013, at her home.
Genelle, the youngest daughter of Frederick Ora and Nelle Grace Harmon Yaap, was born Nov. 12, 1919, on a ranch east of Suffolk, Mont. She married John A McCullough on Aug. 8, 1942, in a Methodist Church in East St. Louis, with her uncle, Dr. Cameron Harmon, officiating.
When she was five, Genelle's family moved to a ranch north of Winifred, Mont., near the Missouri River Breaks. She attended the Winifred school through her junior year before moving to Illinois. Genelle graduated from Carlyle High School in Carlyle, Ill., in 1937. She later graduated from St. Louis Business College, receiving a business college teaching certificate, and took additional business courses from Washington University in St. Louis.
Genelle was the office and credit manager for George D. Fisher Optical Company in St. Louis for four years. She was a charter member of the St. Louis Women's Credit Bureau and was the youngest officer named to their board of directors in 1940. Following her marriage to John and his deployment during World War II
, Genelle worked as the supervisor of government billing at the NESCO plant in Jacksonville. She served as a correspondent for the Jacksonville Journal-Courier from 1953-1973, and the Springfield Journal-Register from 1965-1973.
In 1947 John and Genelle established the McCullough Funeral Home in New Berlin, adding the branch chapel in Loami in 1952. Genelle passed the Illinois State Examining Board tests to become a licensed funeral director
in 1958. John and Genelle owned and operated the business until their retirement in 1986.
As a member of the Island Grove United Methodist Church since 1947, Genelle served as chair of various committees through the years, including pastor-parish several times, ecumenical representative for 13 years, church auditor for more than 30 years, and delegate to conference seven years. In 1997, Genelle researched and wrote the church history. She was a member of the New Berlin Women's Club since 1947, serving as president in the mid-1960s and acted as club historian for more than 30 years. Genelle was also a member of the Auxiliary of West Sangamon American Legion Post 743.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, William Yaap.
She is survived by her husband, John; three daughters, Andrea (Rick) Speckman of Yorkville, Jean McCullough of Martinez, Calif., and Alida (Terry) McCartney of Texarkana, Texas; four grandchildren, Rich V. (Jennifer) Speckman of Yorkville, Julia (Randy) Lauth of Saunemin, Tami Stone of Winterville, Ga., and Tim Stone of Wasilla, Alaska; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; two stepgrandchildren; several stepgreat-grandchildren; a sister, Sara Hostmeyer of Caseyville; one niece; one nephew; and two great-nieces.
The family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. Thursday and from 10-10:45 a.m. Friday at McCullough-Delaney and Butler Funeral Home, 714 E Gibson St. in New Berlin. A Celebration of Life will be held 11 a.m. Friday at McCullough-Delaney and Butler Funeral Home, with the Rev. Matthew Woodcock officiating. Burial will follow at Woodwreath Cemetery. Memorials may be made to: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Arkansas Division, 1100 N. University, Suite 255 c/o Lisa Brown, Little Rock, AR 72207, to honor Alida McCartney; Island Grove United Methodist Church, 16128 Old Jacksonville Road, New Berlin, IL 62670; Loami Food Pantry, 106 Main St., Loami, IL 62661; or charity of donor's choice. Please visit butlerfuneralhomes.com
to offer your condolences.