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Beloved superintendent dies

Victor Cullens 1921 – 2003
Parkrose School District Superintendent from 1960 to 1986.
Victor Cullens, Parkrose School District Superintendent from 1960 until his retirement in 1986 died June 6. He was 81.

Born in Savery, Wyoming, Cullens grew up on a sheep ranch. That outdoor, self-sufficient background shaped his attitudes and translated to a firm, consistent, no nonsense leader.

Cullens completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Wyoming and moved on to Washington State University where he earned a PhD in education. He served in the United States Army and was a World War II veteran.

Dr. Cullens came to Parkrose from the superintendent position at an Eastern Washington School and lived the remainder of his life in the Portland Metro area.

A frequent presence in the lunchrooms and hallways of the district’s schools, Cullens a tall man, first came off as stern. Staff and students soon learned he was, in fact, very approachable. First and foremost his focus was on the students, many of whom wondered why they were off to school on winter days, when nearby districts were closed because of snow. Often it was not until after graduation that they learned it was his upbringing in the Rocky Mountains that had them in the classroom when they wanted to be out building snowmen or trying out their new Christmas sleds.

He served during an era of high achievement in the classroom as well as on the sports fields. The district then was a suburban one catering to more affluent families. But as times changed, so did Cullens who was recognized by his peers as a dynamic, forward thinking educator.

Married to Betty Nelson in 1945 who died in 1982, he is survived by his wife of nine years V. Haroldine, daughters Chris and Jo Cullens, stepson Ben Worthington, stepdaughters Rebecca Jensen and Viva Worthington and grandson Camden Cullens.

The family has requested that remembrances be sent to Hopewell House/Legacy Foundation, 6131 S.W. Capitol Way, Portland, OR 97239.
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