Hon. Francis P. Cullen

November 30, 2002

U.S. Veteran

US Marine Corps

World War II Veteran

CULLEN, HON. FRANCIS P., LATE PRESIDING JUSTICE, WOBURN DISTRICT COURT -in Winchester, formerly of Woburn, November 30th, beloved husband of Dorothy M. (Maloney) Cullen. Devoted father of Francis P., Jr., and his wife Annemarie of Franklin, NH, Brian M. and his wife Michele of Melrose, Mark R. and his wife Nancy of Reading, and Michael C. and his wife Susan of Lynnfield. Dear brother of John R. Cullen and his wife Madeleine of FL, Kathleen Pattison and her husband James of Woburn, Jerome B. Cullen and his wife Patricia of Foxboro, Jeanne Cronin of Stoneham, and the late Anthony “Joe??? Cullen, Jr., Lawrence Cullen, and Mary Bruno. Loving grandfather of Cpl. Andrew Cullen, USMC, Alana, Mary, Kirstie, Paul, Erin, and Matthew Cullen. Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Wednesday, December 4th, at 9:15 a.m. Funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 10. Calling hours Tuesday 3 to 8 p.m. Interment in Wildwood Cemetery, Winchester. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Hon. Francis P. Cullen Scholarship Fund, 1200 Salem Street, Unit 188, Lynnfield, MA 01940. Late Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient, WW II.

OBITUARY:

The ever popular retired Presiding Justice of the Fourth District Court of Eastern Middlesex, Judge Francis P. Cullen, age 78, a Purple Heart recipient in World War II, passed away just after noon Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, surrounded by his family.

Retired Judge Cullen’s death brought sadness to his legion of friends in Woburn, Winchester and throughout Massachusetts where he was so well known among the judiciary.

The Saturday evening choral presentation in Woburn Common of the Lions members of Woburn was dedicated to the well loved former Host Lions Club member who served as President early in his career. An announcement was made Saturday evening from City Hall steps on the passing of Judge Cullen.

Born in Woburn, the son of the late Anthony E. and Mary E. (Jones) Cullen, he was one of eight children. Judge Cullen, currently a resident of Winchester with his wife Dorothy, was brought up and educated in the City of Woburn. Prior to that the Cullen family resided on Bacon Street in Winchester, and earlier on Newbury Street in Woburn.

Following his graduation from Woburn High School in 1943, Frank entered the United State Marine Corps and was assigned to the 5th Marine Division, which was honored for their distinguished service in this critical war zone during that period of the war.

During the time of the Iwo Jima assault, the popular local soldier lost his right arm and sustained other major wounds from shrapnel, but survived to return to the States to begin another distinguished career in the field of law.

Frank attended Suffolk University and Suffolk Law School and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1950. Soon he found himself in a number of prestigious positions including serving as an alderman at large in the Woburn City Council, Woburn’s City Solicitor, serving as a special attorney for the City of Woburn, a Master and Auditor in the Middlesex Superior Court, a Woburn District Court officer and later Clerk of Courts pro-tem.

Also, prior to his judicial appointment, “Frank” served as a partner in the law firm of Loring and Cullen for ten years. Judge Cullen would always credit the late Judge William Henchey of the Woburn District Court for his mentoring over the years.

Over the years, Frank Cullen maintained a special relationship with former Veteran’s Agent Charles McSheffrey who also lost an arm and sustained other injuries in the war.

Governor Endicott Peabody appointed the Woburn native to the position of Presiding Justice of the Fourth District Court in 1964, with his friend and now departed “Jim” Dobbins serving as the master of ceremonies. He served in that capacity until 1994 when a “retirement garden reception and celebration” was held at the Woburn District Court.

Hosted by his wife Dorothy and the members of his family the event brought over four hundred state and local friends to the gathering under a flower bedecked tent at the rear of the Court following official ceremonies inside.

Former City Editor William Sullivan, a close friend of Judge Cullen was the master of ceremonies of this special event. The guest list included Chief District Court Judge Samuel Zoll and former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court Paul Liacos.

During his years as Judge, Cullen was a key figure in the establishment of the Fourth District Bar Association as well as his memberships in the Woburn Lions Club, being a Life Member of the Woburn Lodge of Elks, a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the famed Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.

Judge Cullen was a “people person” who brought the Student Government Day program into the Court and related well to the court staff. Judge Cullen saw the court employees as an extended family in his years with this sense of family reaching beyond the courthouse doors.

During his years on the bench Judge Cullen would say that he tried to be “as fair as possible” within the constraints of legal mandates to all who appeared before him.

Many happy times were spent at Seabrook Beach, New Hampshire. Above all the retired Judge Cullen loved his family including his wife of 50 years Dorothy, his sons and grandchildren. He was so proud of them all.

Judge Cullen is survived in addition to his wife of fifty years, Dorothy M.(Maloney, his sons Francis P. Jr. and his wife Annemarie of Franklin, NH, Brian M. and his wife Michele of Melrose, Mark R. and his wife Nancy of Reading and Michael C. and his wife Susan of Lynnfield.

He was also the brother of John Cullen and his wife Madeleine of Florida, Kathleen Pattison and her husband James of Woburn, Jerome Cullen and his wife Patricia of Foxboro and Jeanne Cronin of Stoneham, and the late Anthony “Joe” Cullen Jr., Lawrence Cullen and Mary Bruno.

He was the loving grandfather of Cpl. Andrew Cullen, USMC, Alana, Mary, Kirstie, Paul, Erin and Matthew Cullen.

The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Wednesday, December 4th at 9:15 a.m. with the funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 10. Interment will be at Wildwood Cemetery in Winchester.

Calling hours at the funeral home will be on Tuesday from 3 to 8 p.m.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations may be made in Judge Cullen’s memory to the Honorable Francis P. Cullen Scholarship Fund, 1200 Salem Street, Unit 188, Lynnfield, MA 01940.

Guestbook

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  1. Mark Keating on behalf of his family

    I hadn’t seen Judge Cullen in nearly 40 years, when he was my coach. But now whenever I’m coaching kids, I think of the funny yet firm way that he taught us and demonstrated how to play properly. I know that his whole life was a demonstration of how to live properly. My family always remembers the fun we had on the beach in Seabrook, and the generosity shown to us. My deapest sympathy to his many loved ones.

  2. Jeanne Cameron Jones
    Although I have only worked for Judge Cullen a mere 3 years, I grew to love his laugh and his insight. He ALWAYS had a story to tell and what stories he had! He will be surely missed. May his family and friends now how HONORABLE he truly was. Jeanne

  3. Robert and Monique Couturier
    Lewiston, Maine

    Dear Brian, Michele and Family:

    Monique and I were saddened to learn, a few minutes ago, of the death of Judge Cullen. His obituary is a testimonial to a life well lived.

    We extend our deepest sympathy to you, to your children, to Judge Cullen’s widow and to all of Judge Cullen’s extended family. All of you who are grieving, as well as Judge Cullen, are in our prayers and in our thoughts.

  4. Hon.Domenic J.F.Russo,Retired First Justice of the East Boston District Court.

    I am personally devastated by the passing of this good Judge. He will always be fondly remembered by me as an intellect that spoke in plain terms and was a decided asset to the Massachusetts Judiciary and respected by the public which he served so well.

  5. Jim & Dana Burnham

    With very fond memories and a heavy heart, we will miss the Judge and his wisdom and sense of humor. Our deepest condolences to his wife, sons and family.

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