Florence H. Cullinan

Honored by:Marguerite Cullinan
Brick location:F:11  map

November 10, 1928 - August 21, 1992

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. -William Arthur Ward

We want our mother's name on a brick for many reasons. Some may ask why—after all it is only a brick, not a building. That is why we wanted her name on a brick—because she, being a woman, was a part of something and we might say she played her part well.

She was an only child and always wished she would have had a brother or a sister, but that was not to be. So when she felt she had found the right man to share her life with, she would have a big family. That part went alright until the man told her he hadn't wanted so many children and wanted a different kind of a life for himself and the woman he had met. By now, there are seven children ranging in age from under 1 to 17 and no job skills to speak of. We guess our mom saw that no skills thing as a minor setback compared to the seven children who needed to be housed and fed. Suffice it to say, she got herself organized and found a job and went to work at THE CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE. This after nearly 20 years of being a housewife.

Of course there were ups and downs—the death of a child, the birth of grandchildren, the other children growing up and leaving the nest. She was quite a supporter of single parents through Parents Without Partners and served as president for a time. After moving to Hot Springs, Arkansas, she worked for the Area Agency On Aging, finding jobs for other people over the age of 55 and very instrumental in implementing the ABLE Program (Abilities Based on Long Experience) for which her group received a special presidential award. While doing all this, she taught Catholic CCD classes at night to the children of her parish. Things went pretty well until she was told she had ovarian cancer and there wasn't a lot that could be done. She tried chemotherapy to no avail. She moved to Largo, Florida, to live with her daughter Margueritte and tried chemotherapy again for a time, and on August 21 1992, she died from the ovarian cancer.

We can honestly say she taught us things no one else could. She told us to never give up without trying to change the situation, taught us how to give freely of ourselves unconditionally without ever expecting to be repaid, also to laugh and to cry. One of the best things she did for us even though we didn’t appreciate it as kids was to give us each other, our brothers and sisters. Thank you, Mom.

Michelle Sweeting, Joseph Cullinan, Therese Cullinan, Margueritte Cullinan, Kathleen Cullinan, Francis Cullinan, Timothy Cullinan