Robert Cullen

Robert F. Cullen

POUGHKEEPSIE - Robert Francis Cullen entered the "Great Golf Course in the Sky" on October 14, 2013. Robert passed away as a result of bladder cancer. Robert was a member of Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Parish and attended Mass weekly with Father James A. Garisto at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, 185 Hudson View Drive, Poughkeepsie, NY. Robert resided at home at the time of his passing. Robert was born in the Rhinebeck, New York on September 2, 1927, and spent his early years living in Beacon, New York. He was the only adopted son of Amos and Laura Cullen, who took in many foster children. Amos worked for the City of Beacon. Robert's birth mother was Jennie Rhynders O'Brien. Florence Power of Worcester, Mass. was Robert's paternal aunt. Robert attended Saint Joachim's Catholic School, Beacon, NY, through eighth grade and went on to Beacon High School, but his education was interrupted by World War II. Although he was too young at age 16 in 1943, Robert fabricated his age to enlist in the US Navy to fight in the Pacific Theatre including at Okinawa, Japan. Robert later benefitted from the GI Bill and graduated from Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA. in 1952 with a Bachelors Degree in Economics. Robert met the love of his life, Lillian Boolukos from NYC, in 1946 while Lillian was visiting her oldest sister, Helen Charkalis, in Beacon, NY. Lillian and Robert were married in the Rectory of Saint Joachim's Church on September 4, 1948, and on the following day at the Greek Orthodox Church of Queens, NY. Following a brief Honeymoon in Asbury Park, New Jersey, the happy couple left for Robert's college, Villanova University. Robert and Lillian were married for 63 years before Lillian passed away in 2011. Robert and Lillian's first of five children, Pamela Christine Fiske, was born in Philadelphia. Robert and Lillian moved back to Beacon, NY, and their first son Christian Robert Cullen was born the following year. Three other children followed: Laura June Boyle; Evans Peter Paul Cullen; and Jeannie Jo Jensen. After college, Robert worked for many years for the P. Lorrilard Company in cigarette marketing until entering the real estate profession where he worked as a salesman for Dick Breccia Real Estate. Robert went on to become a Broker and started his own company in Dutchess County, Unique Real Estate. Robert also became active in home building and became an Executive Director of the Builders' Association of the Hudson Valley, as well as President of the Town and City of Poughkeepsie Lions Clubs, (a philanthropic organization), and a Republican Committee Person in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Robert went on to become Real Estate Appraiser for the Town of Poughkeepsie in 1977 and Commissioner of Assessments for the City of Poughkeepsie in 1979 retiring on Saint Patrick's Day, 1995. Robert was also President of the Dutchess County Assessors Association and a member of the Dutchess County Board of Realtors as well as a Director of Chapter 123 of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. Robert was passionate at playing golf five mornings a week at the City of Poughkeepsie College Hill Golf Course, so much so that he would joke that when he died, he wanted to be cremated and sprinkled on the golf course. When he couldn't golf, Robert loved working out daily at the gym, Planet Fitness, Route 9, Hyde Park, as well as taking swing dance lessons at night with Linda and Chester Freeman of Got2Lindy Dance Studios. Robert was able to fulfill a life long dream and visit Ireland in the summer of 2011 where he kissed the Blarney stone, looked out upon the Atlantic Ocean from atop the Cliffs of Moher at O'Brien's Tower, marveled at multi-green shaded patchwork quilt-like country-sides, and became well known to Irish Folk Singers in the Pubs of Dublin who often remarked how the rest of the audiences paled in comparison to the enthusiasm exhibited by this 84 year old clapping, singing, dancing Irish-American named Robert. Robert is survived by five children; nine grand children; and three great-grand children: Robert's first daughter Pamela and son in law Richard Fiske reside in Wilmington, North Carolina; Grand-child Wendy Sue Fantini, daughter of Pamela and Richard, and Wendy's husband Wesley reside in Wilmington, North Carolina, with great grand children Ryan Fantini, Jenna Fantini, and Kaley Fantini; Grand-son Erik Robert Fiske and his wife, Michelle, reside in Dutchess County, NY. Other survivors include family attorney, first son, Christian Robert Cullen; Anne Cunningham, whom Robert loved like a daughter-in-law; Daughter Laura June Boyle; Son in law John Boyle; Grand children Kelsey Boyle and Sean Patrick Boyle; Son Evans Peter Paul Cullen; Daughter in law Laura Ruth Cullen; Grand children Jessica Marie Cullen, DVM, Patrick Sean Cullen, and Oli Errol Cullen; Daughter Jeannie Jo Jensen; Son in law Edwin Jensen; Grand Children Eddie and Michael Jensen; And Roberts' special friend Gloria Phillips. In addition to his parents, Robert was pre-deceased by his beloved wife, Lillian; Lillian's sister and brother in law, Helen and George Charkalis; Lillian's older brothers Gustav and John Boolukos; and Lillian's sister and brother in law, Sarah and O. Thomas Martini. Calling hours will be held Friday, October 18, 2013 from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at Wm. G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. Services will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 10:00am in the funeral home. Entombment with Military Honors will follow at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Castle Point Veterans Hospital, Rt. 9D, Castle Point, NY 12511 or to , 121 Executive Dr., Ste. 200, New Windsor, NY 12553. If you need directions or would like to leave an online condolence please visit


Funeral Home

William G Miller & Son Funeral Home Inc
371 Hooker Ave Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
(845) 485-0241

Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from Oct. 16 to Oct. 19, 2013