Remembering Sean Cullen
Sean Cullen was a union steamfitter by trade, but to his many friends in the Far Northeast, he was a man of many talents and wide-ranging interests.
Cullen, a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 88, died May 22 in an accident on his beloved Harley motorcycle on Knights Road, in front of Frankford Torresdale Hospital. He was 36. He leaves behind a wife, Alicia—he met her at Archbishop Ryan—and a 7-year-old son, Ryan.
According to 88′s Paddy O’Brien, who knew Sean for close to eight years, his death leaves a big hole in the community.
“I knew Sean as a member of Division 88,” he says. “A lot of the other guys knew him longer; they knew him from the neighborhood. Sean ended up being our go-to guy. If somebody needed something they’d say, ‘Call Sean.’ He was our handy man. He’d load up that little red truck of his with tools, he’d come to your house. We built people’s rec rooms…we did all kinds of stuff. Sean was the leader of all that.”
Sean Cullen was a guy who could have done many things with hs life, O’Brien added. For example, he could just as easily have been a Philadelphia police officer. His parents, Bert and Mary Cullen, were retired police officers, and his brother Jimmy is a narcotics officer. Sean took the department test, but, as O’Brien recalls, the steamfitters union called first.
Friends recall Cullen as a man who wouldn’t say no. No one was surprised when he became athletic director for Calvary A.A., and recently its lacrosse coach,even though there wasn’t much in the way of participatory sports in his background.
“We used to say that he was the most unathletic athletic director in the history of sports,” O’Brien laughs. “He never played anything himself. He ended up as one of those people who learned the games and learned to coach. He’d ever picked up a lacrosse ball in his life. He’d just find out what it took. he spent his own money to go to classes to learn about lacrosse, just to teach the kids.”
Sean Cullen clearly left his mark on the community. Over 1,000 mourners came to his funeral at Our Lady of Calvary Church.
Friends and family are honoring Sean’s memory by establishing a trust fund to assist in Ryan Cullen’s education.
On Saturday August 29, Quaker City Yacht Club, 7101 N. Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa 19135 will host a fund-raising event from 12-5 p.m. The cost of the event is $30 and includes domestic draft, wine, soda and food. Entertainment will be provided by popular local band The Cram and DJ Tommy Kuhn.
Three Monkeys co-owner Gavin Wolfe has partnered with the generosity of Muller Beverage and the Philadelphia Credit Union to sponsor the event. All proceeds will go directly to the family.
The second event, on Sunday October 4 from 12-4 p.m. will be hosted by Joe Santucci at his Woodhaven Road location. There will be an outdoor tent available in case of inclement weather. The $25 event donation includes domestic draft, wine, soda and food samplings of Joe’s original Best of Philly menu items. Again, all proceeds will directly benefit the family. There will also be live entertainment and a DJ.