Carolyn McCullough, 85, of Fayetteville, GA died June 17, 2020 after a long illness.
She was a journalist, real estate developer, broker and native of Indiana. With her husband Paul McCullough and family, she moved to Georgia in 1966. Paul died in 2014. They had been married over 60 years. Since 2015 she has resided at Azalea Estates in Fayetteville, GA.
Carolyn was born on her family’s small farm near Columbus, IN on Dec. 2, 1934 to Fred and Dolly Strahl Sinn, and grew up attending to farm animals and vegetable gardens. At a very young age she was introduced by her parents to such events as political rallies and all things musical or related to their Baptist church.
A voracious reader, Carolyn seemed to have been born with the ability to read. No matter how tight the budget, her parents always subscribed to The Republic (then called The Evening Republican) and The Indianapolis Star. She could read these newspapers and also books from the local library before starting school.
She and Paul met at a Baptist Youth Camp in the summer of 1951, but she scarcely remembered him. However, he pointed her out to his church pastor as the girl he was going to marry. He followed through – leading to just that – and they were married in 1953.
Her 21-year career in journalism started when, as a high school senior, she wrote a letter to the editor of The Evening Republican suggesting the paper start a high school column written by a student. She was hired to do the job. Although she was offered scholarships, she never spent a day in college, and instead wrote for the daily paper, which was recognized for its superior quality for 14 years.
Also, during that time, she and Paul became parents of four children. Paul was stationed at Fort McPherson in Atlanta while in the service and wanted to come back to live here. In this warmer climate, those in construction, like Paul at the time, were more likely to work year-around. They still had former military friends in College Park and so bought a house there.
Carolyn was welcomed to the staff of The Atlanta Constitution as editor of what was then known as the “Women’s” section. She was allowed to hire new writers who helped her turn it into a broader “life” section. The world seemed to be beating at Atlanta’s door during that time. There was the Civil Rights movement, a huge influx of “hippies,” and three new pro sports teams. Also, more women were being accepted for executive positions, and other areas of authority.
Editor and Publisher, the industry’s journal which covers all aspects of newspapering, gave her accolades for providing “hard-hitting and provocative” coverage of news. Editor and Publisher also named her pages as one of the three best “women’s sections” in the United States – the others being in Los Angeles and Miami.
Among her recollections were spending an entire afternoon with then presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and another afternoon and evening with comedian Bob Hope. Louis Armstrong, Ed Sullivan, Nat Cole and actor James Garner were included in her “famous people” interviews. Most of these entertainers were in her hometown for “Auditorium Series” shows.
While interviewing President Nixon’s wife, Pat, at an Atlanta hotel, he came into the room and acknowledged Carolyn with only a “surly” nod. Dr. Billy Graham, touring the AJC building with then executive Bill Fields in 1973, visited her department and took each staff member’s hands into his, looked straight into their eyes and said, “Bless you.” It was a blessing she closely remembered for the rest of her life.
She left The Constitution at the end of 1973 to care for her mother, who was ill and had moved to College Park to live next door to Paul and Carolyn. After the death of her mother in 1977 – her father had died in 1958 – she began a career in real estate.
For 14 years she was with Tri-City Realty and Mortgage and for a number of years was in the Million Dollar Club and held the status of Active Phoenix. She was a 25-year member of the Fayette Board of Realtors and served as president and head of the professional standards committee.
In 1989 she became an agent with East West Partners of Virginia as that firm was just starting a 375-acre community, Country Lake, in North Fayette County. In 1990, she was named vice president of sales and marketing for Country Lake. As such, Mrs. McCullough was entrusted with the entre development of that community.
Many of the homebuyers were professional athletes, entertainers, those in medical professions and corporate officers. Mrs. McCullough was honored with the Eagle Award from East West Partners for accepting “the challenge to soar above the crowd and overcome barriers to success that would have caused others to falter and fail …” After the sell-out at Country Lake, she became the office manager for Scarbrough Properties in Tyrone.
Both she and her husband retired in 2008. The couple enjoyed traveling, including trips to the Holy Land, Greece, Ireland, Scotland and England, through the Panama Canal and to the Atlanta Braves spring training in Orlando, Fl. They were ardent Braves fans and held season tickets for several years. Favorite vacation spots were Mt. Desert Island and Bar Harbor Maine and Charleston, SC.
Both were active at College Park High School for 12 years while their children attended there. She was president of the teacher student parent group and served as her husband’s assistant while he was president of the Booster Club for several years. Also, they were co-presidents of the band parent group.
Surviving are four children, Amy McCullough, Lee McCullough and wife Lera, Jimmy McCullough and wife Sandy, Robert McCullough and wife Elizabeth. All reside in the Fayette County area.
Also surviving are nine grandchildren, Ryan Kunz and husband Jake, Laura Crews and husband Bobby, Joshua McCullough and wife Jennifer, Whitney Moon and husband Paul, Jacob McCullough and wife Brittany, Andrew Nix and wife Victoria, Scott McCullough, Sarah Van Ginkel and husband Nate, and Daniel McCullough.
There are 19 great-grandchildren: Colby, Carly, Gracie, Samuel, Silas and Joe Kunz; Morgan and Ellison Crews; Brooklyn, Luke and Sara McCullough; Luke, James and Joshua Moon; Jackson, Harper and Hazel McCullough; Anna Nix, and Eleanor Van Ginkel.
Family in Indiana includes brother-in-law Jerry McCullough and wife Karen of Columbus and sister-in-law Mary McCullough of Greensburg. Brother-in-law Richard McCullough and wife Carol reside in Port Charlotte, FL. Nieces and nephew reside in California and Indiana. Also, several cousins in Bartholomew County, IN area. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, a brother and a great-granddaughter, Hannah Moon.
A private, family graveside service will be held June 20, 2020 at Camp Memorial Park in Fayetteville, GA. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Azalea Estates in Fayetteville, GA or Southern Grace Hospice, McDonough, GA.
Mowell Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fayetteville — www.mowells.com