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Edward Geoffrey Cullen

May 21, 2023

Geoff Cullen was born June 29, 1944 to John Wesley and Betty Clark Cullen. He grew up in Haverford, Pennsylvania and Greenwich, Connecticut. He attended and graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts and entered Yale in September 1962. Geoff lived in Davenport College, majored in History, played freshman lacrosse and varsity hockey, and was a member of Fence Club. He was well liked by those who knew him and envied for his model-like good looks which were matched with an attractive and outgoing personality.

After Yale, Geoff attended law school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, then spent a short time in New York City, but worked for most of his life in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and different parts of California. With so many significant connections to other states it may seem curious that he would, in a serious reflection about himself, identify as being “a provincial New Yorker.” But perhaps it is not curious. From about age ten, Geoff, with his parents and three sisters, spent summers at Fishers Island, New York and one senses that Geoff’s times there and the people who became part of his life were of formative and lasting influence.

Although Geoff graduated from UVa Law School and passed both the New York and Virginia Bar exams, he did not practice law. Instead, after a brief stint teaching Latin at Brunswick School in Greenwich, at the encouragement of a family friend, he started a career in insurance, specializing in Directors and Officers liability coverages. Geoff was successful and highly regarded, being promoted to senior officer positions at brokerage firms, including both Johnson & Higgins and Marsh and McLennan. Apart from work, Geoff enjoyed social gatherings of all types, singing in his church choir and, even as he suffered with Alzheimer’s, doing the daily New York Times crossword puzzles–quickly and accurately completing them in pen and ink!

Geoff’s daughter, Torry, described by Geoff in our 25th Reunion Book as “the major joy of my life,” was born in 1982. At the time of his death, he had one granddaughter, Isabella. Geoff died peacefully at home in Santa Cruz, California on May 21, 2023 from pneumonia and complications of a ten-year struggle with Alzheimer’s, aptly and sadly described by his wife, Ann, as “the long good-bye.” Although Ann was Geoff’s third wife, she was likely his first love, the two meeting at Fishers Island and experiencing a mutual crush as 16-year-olds. After no contact for many years, and both having been married to others in the interim, they met again at a Fishers Island reunion on September 10, 2010, and were married exactly one year later. At Geoff’s death he was surrounded by family, including Ann, his daughter, his granddaughter, and a sister, Wesley. Fittingly, a well-attended memorial service was held for Geoff at Fishers Island on July 30, 2023.

— Cameron Smith