Cover photo for Joan 'Jo' Cullen's Obituary
Joan 'Jo' Cullen Profile Photo
1924 Joan 2014

Joan 'Jo' Cullen

September 29, 1924 — August 28, 2014

MASON CITY: Joan Cullen, 89, of Crystal Lake, Iowa passed away Thursday, August 28, 2014 at Cornerstone Assisted Living. She was looking forward to her upcoming 90th birthday party. Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at the Crystal Lake United Methodist Church, Crystal Lake, Iowa with Rev. Charles Layton officiating. Interment will be in Crystal Lake Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be directed to the Britt Food Bank. Jo was born in Madison County, Iowa in 1924 to Curtis and Sula Mae Poland. She was the youngest of three children and was raised on the family farm. Jo attended primary school in Winterset, Iowa. After graduation from high school, she received a Normal Training Certificate and started teaching country school at age 17. She taught rural school for three years in order to earn the funds necessary to attend Iowa State University, which she attended until graduation in the spring of 1949 with a degree in Home Economics. Jo remained an avid Cyclones fan her entire life. Her children learned not to expect a long phone conversation if the Cyclones basketball or football game was on television. After graduation from ISU in the spring of 1949, Jo got a job as an Extension Home Economist for Boone County and in July 1949, she married Alexander Raymond Cullen “Doc”, whom she met while working in the food service at Iowa State. Doc and Jo were married for 56 years and raised four children, David, Lynn, Dan and Eric. Jo continued working and raising the children in Boone, Forest City and Crystal Lake, Iowa as they established Doc’s career. Jo’s Home Economics degree was put to good use throughout her life. She loved to cook and continued to share recipes until the very last days. She loved flower gardening, wildflowers and flower arranging. She looked forward every spring to going to the lake and discovering the trilliums in bloom. Jo had numerous friends from school, church and traveling and she spent many pleasant hours with a cup of coffee and friends that just dropped by or writing letters and catching up by phone. She especially enjoyed the friendship and love of extended second family Steve, Nancy, Adam, Cody and Kirk Helm. Jo was preceded in death by her husband and best friend Dr. A.R. Cullen and is survived by her four children; David Cullen and wife Sue of Bozeman, Montana; Lynn Cullen and partner Suzanne Fritz of Atascadero, California; Dan Cullen and wife Mary Hardin of Mason City, Iowa and Eric Cullen of Des Moines, Iowa. She is also survived by many much loved nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We cherish her memory and will miss her cheerful optimism and the mischievous twinkle in her eye.

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