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  • "Loving memories will forever be in my heart. Rest in peace..."
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CULLEN WALTER A. CULLEN "Walt" Walter Arthur Cullen, a self-made man and "gentleman farmer" with lengthy and accomplished careers in the military and real estate, died October 23, 2012 in Delaware, where he moved last year with his beloved wife, Marian, from their longtime home in Alexandria, Va. Mr. Cullen was 98. His siblings, Janet Gunton, Mary Honnold and Dr. A. R. Cullen are deceased, but he is survived by many nieces and nephews. Walt and the wife he adored for 72 years moved in 2012 to the Frankford, Del., area to be close to their only child, son Walter S. "Steve" Cullen, and his wife, Jo Brown. Born July 23, 1915, in tiny, no longer existent Hiteman, Iowa, to the late Walter Cullen and Margaret Thomson Cullen - both naturalized citizens from Scotland - Mr. Cullen worked the family farm. As his father suffered with "black lung", Walt maintained the farm equipment and worked the fields, keeping the farm operating through the disastrous "dust bowl" years that saw many of the region's farms go under. Later, he earned a degree in business administration at Grand Island Business College in Nebraska. In 1941, he joined the U.S. Forest Service also in Nebraska, where he met the love of his life, and served until his induction into the U.S. Army. His service became part of the Army Air Corp and later the U.S. Air Force. His responsibilities, while in headquarter at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC included assigning personnel for duty during WWII . That led to his assignment to the Attaché Office in Ottowa, Canada. There, he spent what he called "four delightful years" with his wife, including their son's birth. "We hunted deer, fished some marvelous waters, acquired a jumper show horse and associated with a lot of very fine folks," he once said. Walt was awarded the Legion of Merit for outstanding service. He later served at the U.S. Army War College and as a U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Chief Warrant Officer W-4 (the highest rank achievable at that time for a Warrant Officer) with the 1134th Special Activities Squadron and the 1127th Field Activity Group, headquarters command, at Fort Belvoir, Va. Mr. Cullen also served at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver and was later assigned to the Headquarters Flying Training Command in Waco, Texas. He served in the Attaché Offices of the U.S. Embassies in Ankara, Turkey and Pretoria, South Africa. Each tour, Marian and Steve shared the adventures. The Cullen family has fondest memories and feelings for the people they met and the time they spent in South Africa. In addition to his attache and embassy management, Walt's work included intelligence and communications. He especially enjoyed helping people around the globe, in many situations with his HAM radio skills - K4BNY. He retired from the military in 1971, embarking on a new career in real estate. He was a sales agent and rental manager in the Washington, D.C. area, and northern Virginia, where he and his wife also owned and managed numerous residential properties. Mr. Cullen also had a modest "gentleman's farm" in Farnham, Va. and a large garden at their home in Alexandria, where he liked to share his abundant harvests with family and friends. The bounty ranged from bushels of vegetables and assorted fruits to oysters he grew along his docks at Fleeton Beach, Va. Walt enjoyed ATV riding at his farm, restoring his classic VW Beetle and BMW, tinkering with motors, computers and all types of electronics, as well as following baseball and football - especially the Washington Senators, Redskins and Nebraska Cornhuskers - and spending time with his family, dogs and friends. Walt and his family are deeply grateful for the stellar care and assistance provided him from the Nurse Next Door Inc. and Delaware Hospice. In accordance with his wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial service. A brief committal ceremony will be held for immediate family and closest friends at 2 p.m., November 4 at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Patriots Way near Millsboro, DE, where Mr. Cullen will be buried with full military honors. Instead of flowers, the family suggests donations to Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE. 19963. Online condolences may be sent by visiting

Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 1, 2013
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