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Bradley T. Cullen, 65, of Albuquerque, died unexpectedly on Saturday, June 4, 2016 in Auburn, California. A UNM professor emeritus, he had been teaching Geography on a part-time basis at Sierra College since January of this year.
Brad was raised in Portola, California, by his parents Nook and Adwina Ayoob Cullen, and after receiving his bachelor’s degree at Chico State University and his master’s at Miami of Ohio, earned a Ph.D. in Geography at Michigan State University. He moved to Albuquerque in 1979 as an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of New Mexico, and retired as a full professor in May, 2014. He was active in the Association of American Geographers, the Applied Geography Conference, the Southwest Division of the AAG, and the International Geophysical Union. During his career at UNM, Brad served as department chair and was instrumental at one point in preserving the threatened UNM Geography program. Without his major contributions, the important department of today would be significantly poorer and might not even exist.
Brad enjoyed performances of the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera, and in celebration of his birthday every year would treat his friends to a show at Popejoy. After his retirement Brad was most likely to be found reading shirtless on his tiny front porch. He was a true dog lover, a keeper of the best treats, and many dogs in Albuquerque will miss dragging their owners over to him. Despite his fine cooking and legendary desserts, Brad also enjoyed eating out at places like Padilla’s and Scalo. He rarely bothered to shift his Mini Cooper above second gear, regardless of his speed. Travel was one of Brad’s consuming interests. He recently gained certification to teach English as a second language, and had been preparing to serve with the Peace Corps in Mongolia until his health required a change in plans.
He is survived by his older brother John and sister-in-law Lorraine Cullen of Fair Oaks, California, and his beloved nephews and their families: Aaron, Lesa, Kaylee, and Kaden Cullen of Fair Oaks, California, and Bret, Nina, Lea, and Tyler Cullen of Pleasanton, California. He will also be missed by his friends and colleagues, both in Albuquerque and elsewhere, who will never forget him. In addition, Brad leaves behind the legacy of the thousands of students over the years who experienced his dry and wonderful classroom humor and learned things about the world that throughout their lives will continue to make them better citizens of it.
A memorial service is being planned for late summer. Details will be forthcoming.