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Paul W. Cullen

RONAN – Paul W. Cullen passed peacefully away April 28, 2018 at the Cullen ranch surrounded by family and friends. He was born to L.E. “Tut” and Edna Cullen July 13, 1934 in Belt, Montana. 

He moved with his parents to what was to become the “Cullen Ranch” at the age of three and discovered paradise. He was later joined by three siblings: Virginia, Joseph, and Carol.  Unfortunately a yellow school bus arrived and “changed his world.” He preferred to farm, work with the animals, go hiking with his friends, work on cars, and occasionally dismantle a tractor, only to find it intact on some poor soul’s roof. He graduated from Round Butte High School and was drafted into the Army, just as the Korean conflict ended.

He spent his service in Germany where he enjoyed many hours with his friend Connie, who had previously lived with the Cullen family in Round Butte as a high school exchange student. While there he was partly responsible for a nuclear gun, learned telecommunications, how to make a bed, shine shoes and say “rise and shine” in German. He took up photography with the Agfa camera he bought, and practiced the art of beer tasting. He was skilled as a sharp-shooter earning medals. He returned to the U.S. via the pond on a military ship.

Paul settled in the Libby area, logging initially, then was involved in construction of the Libby mill, where he then worked as the head sawyer for about 10 years. He was married to Martha A. Reimer after a six month courtship and one week engagement in Jan. 1958. They were gifted with five children while living there: Laurence, Raymond, Beverley, Beth, and Zeldene. They bought a house, which he added on to, and had many a barbecue with friends and relatives in the big backyard, even a horse or two.

He saved his earnings and eventually bought the ranch in Round Butte from Tut and Edna in 1968, his “life’s dream.” In the early years, two more boys were born to the family in Round Butte: Brian and Michael. He took under his wing Don Bell and his foster daughter Marie Westphall, as if they were his own children.

He raised Hereford cattle on the ranch, enjoying his neighbors and friends. He was involved for many years in the 4-H, Grange, Cattlemen’s association, and in starting the auction at the county fair, and the Mission Valley Heritage Association. He loved working together with others, teaching young people about animal husbandry, farming, auto mechanics, and inspired some to weld metal, make knives, and even create art. He created a very prolific art collection of metal sculpture, as well as woodworking and other mediums. He loved the stock car called “Ferdinand” a Nomad with the steering wheel in the rear of the vehicle.

Paul was involved in the effort to ship the calves to market each fall to Omaha, Nebraska via train. He loved to ride in the caboose and doctor the calves on the way, and once there, in the auction yards. Later the traveling was done in the infamous dual gas tanked 65 Chevy station wagon, along with his shipping partners.

At the end of his trails he preferred to remain at home where he was always most comfortable and where he achieved his life’s goal to pass the Cullen ranch on to his descendants as a legacy of a life well lived.

Paul is preceded in death by his wife Martha A. Cullen, their children Laurence Wesley Cullen, Raymond Roy Cullen, Zeldene Joy Cullen, and his parent’s L.E. “Tut” and Edna Cullen.

Paul is survived by his siblings Virginia (Paul) Miller, Libby; Joseph (LaDonna) Cullen, Amarillo, Texas; Carol Bryant, Ronan; his children Bev (Chad) Hoover, Round Butte; Beth Donelan, Seattle, Washington; Brian Cullen, Vernal, Utah; and Michael (Christine) Cullen, Ronan; 12 grandchildren, four great grandchildren as well as numerous honorary grand and great grandchildren. In the famous last words of Paul, “And we go.”

Services were held Thursday, May 3. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at Arrangements are under the direction of Shrider – Thompson Funeral Home.


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