Robert (Bobby) Charles McCulley of Anahuac passed peacefully into eternity on February 24, 2022, at his retirement home in El Paso, Texas.
Bobby was born on November 1, 1924, in East Peoria, Illinois. His father, Charles died in an automobile accident when Bobby was only 6 years old. His widow, Vivian, a woman of indomitable spirit, not only kept her family together but caused them to thrive through the Great Depression and beyond. She instilled in all her children a tremendous love of life and an appreciation for the magnificence of all creation. Bobby, proceeded in death by all four of his siblings, Winefred, Wilda, Grace, and Donald, remained incredibly close to them his entire life.
Drafted during WWII, Bobby served in Italy until wounded by shrapnel at Anzio. With a fresh Purple Heart on his chest, Bobby finished out his service as a guard for German Prisoners of War interned at Huntsville, Texas. Notwithstanding that on the tallest day of his life Bobby stood at an impressive five foot six inches, he established and coached his own basketball team of German POWs. He used to brag that the only reason his officers ever let him out of the brig himself was to go play basketball.
It was at a USO dance that Bobby met the love of his life, Dorothy Mae Arrant, a student at Houston State Teacher’s College. He would recall decades later how he had spied the pretty little girl across the dance floor wearing a cream-colored dress and white gloves. That pretty little girl, known by all as Dottie, would become his devoted wife for the next 62 years. Dottie’s mother, Thelma had only one condition. If Dottie were bound and determined to marry that hard-headed Yankee, “there was no way in Hell he was going to take her little girl away from Anahuac.” Bobby quickly agreed and the two were married in 1945. Dorothy passed away in 2008 amongst the moss draped oaks at the “House that Dottie Built” on the banks of Lake Anahuac. Bobby often remarked after her passing, “the best damned thing that ever happened to me was getting blown up in Italy.”
With his beloved Dottie by his side, Bobby, a self-taught civil engineer, built a successful business surveying hundreds of land parcels during the post-war years in and around Chambers County. After his business career, Bobby worked as a part-time inspector with the Baytown Housing Authority. But his greatest joy in his golden years was delivering Meals on Wheels through the Bayside Community Hospital. “I got into this program to help others, but now I find that I’m helping myself more than anyone,” remarked Bobby in 1991. These beatitudes of service were acknowledged by all who knew him. That was just who he was, hard-headed and selfless. “He’d just always been that way.” Bobby was officially recognized for his community service (unofficially for his hard-headedness), by the Anahuac Area Chamber of Commerce which named him Person of the Year, 1993.
Bobby is survived by his son, Richard Todd McCulley recently of El Paso, Texas, several nieces, and nephews and dozens and dozens of close friends.
Bobby’s life will be remembered at the Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac at 3PM on March 16, 2022.
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