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Published: Sunday, 7/14/2013

Elmer A. 'Mac' McCullough, 1918-2013: Mailman chronicled Bloomdale history

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Elmer "Mac" McCullough. Elmer "Mac" McCullough.
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BLOOMDALE, Ohio — Elmer A. “Mac” McCullough, a retired rural mail carrier who was a historian of his southern Wood County hometown and a leader in its centennial, died June 21 in a Berea, Ohio, hospice. He was 95.

He was in declining health after breaking a hip in a fall at his assisted living apartment in January, his daughter Ann McCullough said. His wife, Lynette, died in 2009, and he moved to Berea to be near his daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Jim Templeman.

Mr. McCullough and his wife were co-chairmen of Bloomdale’s centennial celebration. By the opening ceremonies, July 3, 1988, the couple had spent nearly two years compiling village history.

“My dad really liked a good story,” daughter Ann said. “He liked to hear stories and tell stories. He collected stories about people in the community.”

His wife especially was a seasoned researcher and held memberships in the state and four county genealogical societies. They also delved into back issues of the former weekly newspaper, the Bloomdale Derrick.

“Their whole living room was turned into a workshop, and volunteers from the whole town came over to help,” daughter Ann said. “It was an amazing thing.”

The result was a 768-page centennial history and a photo-illustrated calendar that listed a Bloomdale historical event for every day of the year. (“June 19, 1889: No one shall drive or lead a horse or cow or any other animal on sidewalks.”)

Earlier, the couple were co-chairman of the village’s U.S. bicentennial committee. They were recipients of the Spirit of Wood County award.

After his wife’s death, he donated 32 notebooks of her genealogical research to the Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green State University.

He retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1975. He closed his career as a rural carrier. Early on, he sorted mail as a railway postal clerk riding a mail car between Chicago and Pittsburgh.

“He was home about half a week, and he was gone for about a half week,” daughter Ann said.

His wife was a home economics teacher at Elmwood High School. After he retired in 1975, the couple divided their time between Bloomdale and Scottsdale, Ariz. They moved to the southwest year-round about 2000.

He was born Jan. 10, 1918, in Hancock County’s Portage Township to Celia and Charles McCullough. He was a 1935 graduate of Bloomdale High School. He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II. He served stateside and was a B-29 test pilot in Alamogordo, N.M. He married Rose Lynette Purkey, his high school sweetheart, on March 29, 1942.

He was a former president of the Bloomdale Commercial Club and served on the board of the Wood County Historical Society.

Surviving are his daughters, Carol Templeman and Ann McCullough; two grandsons, and a great-grandson.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. July 27 in Trinity United Methodist Church, Bloomdale, where he'd been a member since 1923.

The family suggests tributes to the church or a nonprofit organization of the donor’s choice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:

mzaborney@theblade.com

or 419-724-6182.



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