Cover photo for Willie "Buck" McCullough's Obituary
1934 Willie "Buck" 2023

Willie "Buck" McCullough

January 13, 1934 — June 20, 2023

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Willie Dixon McCullough, Jr., better known as Buck, died peacefully in Murray, Utah, on June 20, 2023, at the age of 89. He was welcomed back to his heavenly home by his parents, six of his brothers and sisters, and his great grandson Will. This wonderful man is survived by his beloved wife June - his best friend and life partner of almost 69 years - and his children Mark (Kathryn Reese), Randy (Michelle Shidlowsky), his sister Patsy McClean, 15 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.

Buck was born on January 13, 1934, in Wylie, Texas, to Jo Evelyn Perdue and Willie Dickson McCullough, Sr. At a mere 3½ pounds, Buck could fit in a shoebox at birth! Born at home and lucky to be alive, he was a fighter. That fighting spirit would carry him through his entire life.

Due to his father's grueling work schedule, and his mother's unfortunate illness, Buck practically raised his six younger siblings. Poor as church mice, they did not have electricity until he was 16 years old. Buck and his siblings did their homework by the light of oil lamps. He was smart and worked hard in school, however the financial situation of his family was such that he was needed to help support their income. He left school to work, and work was one of his greatest triumphs.

At the tender age of 17, Buck started in the mailroom of Republic National Life Insurance Company. Within one year, he was the supervisor of the mailroom. Never one to let himself be held down, Buck got a job in the tabulating department. Computers came into being and technology moved fast, but not faster than Buck. He became department supervisor, then manager, assistant vice president, then Vice President of Computer Operations, and finally Director of Computer Services. He went on to work for this company for 42 years. Except for a two-year hiatus to serve in the United States Army.

Buck was the last of his friends to get called for active military service. He honestly thought they forgot about him. But no one could forget Buck McCullough, not even the United States Government! After basic training at Fort Hood, he went to advanced basic training in anti-aircraft artillery at Fort Bliss. Again, Buck's fighting spirit and natural leadership shone through. He trained incoming recruits in the use of artillery and managed to become a Corporal before being honorably discharged.

Though he was a fighter, he certainly could not do it all by himself. He met the woman who would become his lifelong partner and helpmate at the age of 20. June Tolman jitterbugged into his life on a blind date that would change his life forever. He was swept off his feet right away, but June took some convincing. Ever the fighter, he kept asking her to marry him until finally, he won her heart. They were married August 12, 1954, in Dallas, Texas, and later sealed in the Manti Temple on September 17, 1963. On the subject of his wife, Buck said, "I'm sure we knew each other in the pre-existence. And I told her to find me. Or she told me to find her. We were meant to be together." Their union built a beautiful legacy of love. They brought two wonderful sons into the world, Mark and Randy.

Service was a big part of their lives. Baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on December 31, 1956, he started the new year as a member of the Lord's church. Buck went on to faithfully serve in many roles and positions. And his service was not confined to the church. He also became a Fire Chief for the volunteer Fire Department of Heath, Texas.

Buck continued to serve his fellow men all throughout his life. He retired at the age of 59 and spent much of his time serving his community. He was adventurous. He loved travel and vacations. He loved fishing, gardening, and woodworking. Those who had the privilege of being in Buck's warm embrace remember love, kindness, and his beautiful fighting spirit. His life was lived in love. One of the last things he talked about was his greatest life achievement: building a loving family. Please enjoy Buck's iconic closing words, "I'm glad you got to see me!"

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