William ‘Bill’ Larue Kullman

1938 ~ 2021

 Obit Photo Bill Kullman  

   Captain Bill Kullman, age 82, died January 16, 2021 at Culver, Oregon. He was born in Pasadena, CA.

   Bill graduated from Diablo Valley College (Pleasant Hill, CA) in 1959 with an Associate of Arts Degree. In 1961 he elected to attend one of this country’s oldest aviation schools – Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK. At Spartan he received advanced ground school training, flight training for Commercial Pilot and the Instrument Rating. His first solo flight was on 8/02/1961 from Tulsa Intl. to Riverside Airport.

   After graduating from Spartan School of Aeronautics, Bill was employed at Skyways Fight Services in Troutdale, Oregon as a contract pilot and flight instructor. He formed a group for teenagers called “SkyTeens” and several of the members eventually had careers in Aviation.

   Bill fulfilled the military commitment common to his era by serving in the US Army. He was honorably discharged September 30, 1963. His citations include Expert Marksman designation.

   Bill was employed by Northwest Orient Airlines as a pilot from September 13, 1965 to August 28,1994. During his career with NWA, Bill flew the Boeing 707 (720/320) as co-pilot and was type-rated as Captain (Airline Transport Certificate) on Boeing 727, the Douglas DC-10-40, and the classic Boeing 747. He was also an FAA certified flight instructor, a Flight Engineer, and FAA certified ground instructor.

   Bill other achievements were extensive. He was certified by Northwest Society of Professional Hypnotists in 1979, as a Clinical Hypnotherapist by the Washington School of Professional Hypnosis, and in 1981 certified as a Certified Practitioner in Art of Neurolinguistic Programming.

   Philatelist (stamp collecting) was a major interest of Bill’s. He was a noted Philatelist and expert on the stamps of the Shanghai Local Post System in China. He edited and published Dr. Wei Liang Chow’s book “Shanghai Large Dragons, The First Issue of the Shanghai Local Post”, which was published in 1996. He also received numerous National and International awards for his various exhibits of the Local Issues of the Shanghai Local Post System, also known as Treaty Port Stamps, which were his enduring passion as a collector, forming one of the finer collections of that material worldwide.

   In 2019 Bill received a 50-year membership medallion from the American Philatelic Society; in addition, he was a long time member of the China Stamp Society, the China Philatelic Society of London, and the Collectors Club of New York.   He was also a member of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and a member of the Sports Philately International. Special awards included 1969 Apex Oregon First Place, and 1999 Art on Stamps Vermeil Award.

   The Far East fascinated Bill. He mastered a little fluency in Japanese as well as some Chinese. Bill sponsored three Foreign students from Japan over a period from 1966 through 2000. He also enjoyed propagating and developing Satsuki azalea Bonsai in his greenhouse, a skill he learned from a Bonsai master while on layovers in Japan.

   In an athletic endeavor not common to pilots, Bill was a Fencing competitor and coach for most of his adult life. Into his eighth decade Bill was a Life Member of the United States Fencing Association (USFA). In addition, he was a member of the Atlanta Fencer’s Club, the Minneapolis Minnesota Fencing Club where he was awarded the Nobleman Award for Swordsmanship at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival (MCMLXXVI).

   He was team manager for the United States Jr. World Fencing Championships in Mexico City in 1974. Bill sponsored and coached the Des Moines (WA) Boys Club Cavaliers; Grand Ronde Fencing Club in La Grande, Oregon; Fencibles Fencing Club in Bend, Oregon; and coached fencers at the High Desert Fencing Club in Bend, Oregon. His greatest thrill was receiving a Coach’s Medal from the USFA in 2019 when one of his students won the Youth 14 Men’s Epee National Championship in Salt Lake City, UT.

   Social skills were Bill’s strong suit. He was an active member of several Masonic Lodge’s in the Pacific Northwest and held leadership roles in those lodges.

   In his early years Bill played the guitar, banjo, and was a square dance caller. He participated in team roping, raised a National Champion Foundation Quarter Horse cutting mare “Smokey Doc Hancock”, and raised Wagyu cattle.

   He was also noted to always have a Samoyed dog name “Timber” and was up to Timber #7 at the time of his death.

   In his youth, Bill was nicknamed “Busyman” and he certainly earned that name!

   Bill is survived by his children Eric Shanin, Ciel Kullman Glover, Amanda Kullman Stevens, William R Kullman, Chele Stolka, seven grandchildren, and his wife Maureen Connolly Mack Kullman. He was predeceased by sons Daniel Kullman and Carl Kullman.

   Bill is buried in the Gethsemane Catholic Cemetery, Federal Way, Washington next to his son Carl, and beloved Stepfather, Carl Coats.

( - Don Bergman)