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McCullough, Earl Burnett 1921-2012


Posted By: Volunteer Transcriber
Date: 2/15/2021 at 15:03:16

Mr. Earl Burnett McCullough Obituary
July 23, 1921 - January 24, 2012

Obituary for Mr. Earl Burnett McCullough Obituary
Earl Burnett McCullough entered this world on July 23, 1921 and having lived a long and full life, departed it on January 24th, 2012, at the age of 90 years, 6 months, and 1 day.

Earl was born into the family of Andrew Jackson McCullough and Etta Mae (Burnett) McCullough who lived in the Garden Grove area in southern Iowa. He married Madge Pauline Baker on March 30, 1946. The couple settled on an acreage SE of Leon, IA for the first few years of their marriage. Four children were born to this union.

Earl is survived by his children: Jack (Mary) of Harrisburg, SD and their four children - Shari (Jim) Farrell and three sons of Grand Rapids, MI, Seth (Trisha) McCullough and three children of Ravenna, MI, Sara (Mark) Hedrich and two children of Wichita, KS, and Jesse (Christine) McCullough and two children of North Carolina; Diana McCullough and Kyra (daughter of Jeanne) of Des Moines, IA, and Karen (Bob) Robb of Corydon and three children: Eric (Angela) Robb of Pleasantville, IA , Stacy (Randy) Zerr of Denver, CO, and two children, and Barry (Sarah) Robb of Pleasant Hill, IA, and son; two sisters, Iowa Jones of Leon, IA, and Lorene (Don) Stryker of Tangent, OR, many nieces and nephews and a host of friends.

Earl was proceeded in death by his wife, Pauline, his daughter, Jeanne, brothers- Hinton, Tedford, and William (Willy) and by his sisters, Mae Trotz, Hazel Meyers, and Ruth Reynolds.

As a young man, Earl moved to Detroit, Michigan, and worked in an airplane factory. When war was proclaimed, his job would have been secure as it was deemed a "war industry" but Earl chose to enlist in the army and go overseas to fight for his country. Earl's time in the US military service was one of his most treasured memories. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps before Pearl Harbor in 1941. He went through training in Texas and earned his wings as a navigator. During the Ardennes Campaign he was assigned to the 318th Infantry Regiment of the 80th Infantry Division known as the Blue Ridge Division and was commanded by Gen. Patton. Earl was transported to his unit as a replacement on Christmas Day 1944. His unit along with others was involved in an offensive maneuver to relieve the 101st Airborne Div defending Bastogne and had been cut off. The unit suffered 70% causalities that day and was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. He arrived at Bastogne the next day, being immediately tasked to remove the bodies of fallen GIs. He continued as an infantry soldier during the advance to repel the Germans forces during the Battle of the Bulge. He transferred to the headquarters Company, the communication section and was laying landline to advancing elements of his unit. While at a river crossing of the Ruhr, a German mortar round exploded behind him. He was severely wounded by shrapnel from that round. Despite being wounded, he tried to help row the boats being used to transfer wounded back across but passed out during the attempt. He woke a week later in a large field hospital in the rear area. His mother and Pauline, later to become his wife, were notified that he was "Missing in Action, Presumed Dead." Of course this proved untrue and he recuperated from his wounds but was never reunited with his unit. During President Kennedy's term, his unit was awarded the Bronze Star. He later applied for and was awarded the Star. The Honor Flight was a huge event for Earl. His son, Jack, and grandsons, Eric, Seth, and Barry, were all able to join him in the experience in Washington DC.

Upon discharge from the Army, Earl made his way home to Iowa and married Pauline Baker, a young woman he had met before joining the army and with whom he had corresponded throughout the war. Earl took advantage of the GI Bill and studied to become a Soil Conservation Technician, surveying ponds, terraces, and waterways. His first job with the government was in Decatur County and he was transferred to Wheatland, WY, in 1955 to help lay out a massive irrigation project. Although Pauline loved Wyoming, Earl missed the farm and Iowa so transferred back to Corydon 1957. If you drive through Wayne county, you can bet that many of the soil structures that you see were laid out and surveyed by Earl over the years of his career.

They bought a farm just outside of Corydon and thus began a lifetime of working for the government during the day and farming in the evenings and on weekends. Earl loved farming and his animals and he and son, Jack, began raising registered Angus cattle and built the herd over the next years, earning blue ribbons and some grand championships from the county fair while Jack was in 4H.

Earl was a true outdoorsman. He knew every type of tree and plant in the area and could identify every track or footprint in the timber. He hunted whenever possible and taught his son to do the same. Be it deer, squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, or quail, he hunted it. his passion was coon hunting. Pauline said that he spent his whole adult live in pursuit of "a better coon dog".

You cannot think of Earl and not remember his ready smile, a welcoming look and a heart-felt laugh. He loved jokes and comedy and the "Red Skelton Show" as a family favorite. But the best thing you could say about Earl was that he and Pauline were builders. They helped start two churches in their lifetime one in Leon and the Corydon Bible Church here. Earl was the last active original member of this church. He served the Lord in any capacity asked of him as teacher, deacon and board member and often working behind the scenes to make goals into reality. They also helped at the Freedom Bible Camp when it was just beginning.

Earl built his community as well, serving one term as Supervisor of Wayne County. He helped establish the Senior Citizen's Center here in Corydon and served on that board for many years. Being a delegate to Iowa's Senior Citizen Legislator Session was another of his favorite memories and he and Pauline traveled to Washington, DC in that capacity as well.

Earl never thought that he would live past 60. His father died at the age of 46 and a brother in his 50's. He retired at the early age of 53 so that he would have a few years to do what he liked to do. After that, he started a tree-moving service and most of the trees around the church here were planted by Earl there is even a sycamore tree by the parking lot so that little kids would know what kind of tree Zachauseus climbed in to see Jesus.

We believe that because of his Christian life, God granted him 30 more years than he expected to live and most of those were good years of health and well-being. He got to do what he wanted for a lot of years including: planting large gardens and giving away most of the produce, driving to the river and picking up watermelons and cantaloupes to 'sell' but mostly ended up giving to people that he knew could not afford to buy one, learning to weave baskets from the Amish neighbors and then giving most of those away as well, taking in the concerts on the square in the summers and visiting with people wherever he went and worshipping the Lord all through the day.

Truly, his was a life "well lived". ~ The Des Moines (IA) Register 28 Jan 2012.


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