DEER ISLE – Cornelia Carrie (Billings) Cullinane died peacefully Sept. 5, 2013, at a Bangor hospital, after a short illness, with her two sons by her side. Connie was born Sept. 12, 1931, in Deer Isle, the daughter of Reynold Billings and Irene Gray.
She graduated as salutatorian from McKinley High School in 1949, where she excelled academically and athletically. In 1953 she graduated from the Boston College School of Nursing, training at the Faulkner Hospital and subsequently working as a registered nurse at several Boston area hospitals. In 1957 she married her husband of 43 years, Technical Sergeant Donald Sawyer Cullinane, USAF. Over the next decade they were stationed variously in Germany, Florida, and North Carolina. Upon his military retirement they settled in Portsmouth, N.H., where they raised their two sons. Soon thereafter she began a 25 year second career as an elementary school reading specialist in the Portsmouth School System. She was very active at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Portsmouth. She also served on the organizing board for the City of Portsmouth’s first Market Square Day. In addition she tutored high school students at the Chase Home for Children for several years. Beyond work and family she was an avid reader, amateur historian, and ardent sports fan, and was the proud owner of two Old English Sheepdogs. Both she and her husband retired in 1997 and moved to Little Deer Isle. She was an active member of the Deer Isle Grange, serving as its Secretary for several years. She was a volunteer at the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society, serving several terms on the Board of Trustees. In recent years she particularly enjoyed activities with her grandson. Throughout her life she had many friends who meant a great deal to her.
She was predeceased by her husband, Donald Cullinane; and brother, Leroy Hardy. Among her many survivors are son, Michael Cullinane of Keene, N.H.; son, Thomas Cullinane of Portsmouth, N.H., and his son, Jason; brother, Hubert Billings and his wife, Carol; brother, Neville Hardy and his wife, Darlene; brother, Ralph Hardy; sister, Carolyn Stevens; brother, Melvin Hardy and his wife, Mary; niece, Kathleen Billings-Pezaris and her husband, Demetrius; nephew, Brian Billings and his wife, Michelle; nephew, Eric Billings; and niece, Amy Billings. The children of her late Uncle Mel Billings were also especially dear to her.
Viewing will be held 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at BragdonKelley Funeral Homes, 9 Thurlow’s Hill, Stonington. Funeral Mass will be held noon Wednesday, Sept. 11, at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 8 Granite St., Stonington. Donations may be made in her memory to The Ark Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 276, Cherryfield, ME 04622; or New Hampshire SPCA, P.O. Box 196, Stratham, NH 03885. Arrangements by Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Homes, Stonington.