Obituary: William (Bill) McCullough

September 1, 1937 - April 14, 2018

Our beloved father, William (Bill) McCullough, 80, passed away on April 14, 2018 at his home in Wasilla, Alaska surrounded lovingly by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Bill was born on Sept. 1, 1937 in Richmond, California to Jack McCullough and Vivian Muma. Bill spent his early childhood years in the Fort Bragg area of California. In January 1946 he moved to Cordova with his parents and younger brother, Jack. After some time, his parents divorced and his mother, Vivian, remarried, James (Jim) Nichols, former owner of the Alaskan Hotel and Bar. Even though Jim was his stepfather, Bill looked up to Jim and considered him a father figure. He spoke highly of Jim often and would recall many of Jim’s stories with humor.

Bill graduated from Cordova High School in 1955 at the age of 17. After high school, he attended Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  After a couple of semesters, he decided to leave school and joined the Army on February 18, 1957 and was honorably discharged on December 7, 1959.

Bill returned to Cordova, where he worked as a heavy equipment operator for many years. His favorite piece of equipment to work was the crane. He would share stories of the roads and bridges he worked on.

On May 4, 1963, Bill married Linda Andersen in Cordova. They were married for 54 years. They lived most of their married years in Cordova, where they raised their three daughters.

After many years in construction, Bill and Linda opened an aluminum fabrication business, B&L Welding. Bill fabricated marine fuel tanks and many other objects for the fishing industry. He had great pride in his craftsmanship. He loved to weld.

In 1983 the family moved from Cordova. He lived in Aberdeen, Washington and then returned to Valdez, Alaska where he retired from working. He was proud of the fact he belonged to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 for over 50 years. He moved to Wasilla in 1995 where he remained until his death.

Bill always considered Cordova home and had fond memories of his childhood there. He loved to fish and hunt most of his life. Moose and duck season opened on Sept. 1, Bill’s birthday. He always thought that was the best birthday present ever.

Bill had a passion for airboats. He would tell stories of running airboats in the many rivers of Cordova, Valdez and the interior. He loved building airboats and improving the design. After retirement Bill continued to build amazing boats. His last three boats were his pride and joy and we believe are still being operated today.

Bill enjoyed spending time with his family. He loved to drive and take a long road trip. He especially loved to grill up a thick steak for company or make his famous barbequed red and king salmon. He loved to tell a good joke or hear a good joke. We will miss his grumpy ways and remember his big caring heart.

Bill was preceded in death by his father, Jack McCullough, mother, Vivian (Muma) (McCullough) Nichols, step-father, Jim Nichols, brother Jack McCullough Jr., half-brother James (Jimmy) Nichols Jr.

Bill is survived by his wife, Linda of Wasilla; daughter, Deb McCullough (Peg Dunwoodie) of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Brenda Fulton (Larry Fulton) of Palmer; Billie Jean Carnes of Fredericksburg, Virginia; grandchildren Shelby Fulton and Haley Samson, great-grandchildren Avery and Blayke Pearson; nephew Chris McCullough and other relatives.

A memorial service was not held. Bill chose cremation and will be laid to rest in Parkdale, Oregon where his mother, Vivian Nichols was buried along with his two brothers, Jack McCullough and Jimmy Nichols.