Nancy Anne Cullen

Nancy Anne Cullen
Nancy Anne Cullen

Nancy Anne Cullen of Colonial Village in Southold died Dec. 13, 2015. She was 89. 

The daughter of Lucille and Jack Terpennym she was born March 5, 1926, in Jamaica, N.Y.

At just 18 years old, Nancy worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II as the first-ever female crane operator. She later married U.S. Air Force sergeant Henry Tompkins, had three daughters — Linda, Patrice and Nancy — and traveled extensively.

Nancy was widowed at a young age and worked hard to raise her daughters. For over 35 years she worked as a switchboard operator in New York City, first for The Colony Club on Park Avenue and later for Leona Helmsley.

In 1971, Nancy remarried after meeting Peter Cullen on a Cunard Cruise. They were married in Bermuda, which they would later frequent, visiting over 30 times. Later in life, they retired to Southold. She was predeceased by Peter in 2010.

Nancy was a very social and jovial woman. Always smiling, she loved to sing and dance and visit the Southold Town Senior Center multiple times during the week. She was also a member of the Visually Impaired Persons group, which met monthly at the Southold Town Recreation Center.

Nancy died quietly at home from complications due to head trauma. She is survived by her three daughters, Linda Cardinali of Homosassa, Fla., Patrice Violante of Effort, Penn., and Nancy Gilbert of Southold; two grandsons, Christopher and Douglas Cardinali; and one great-grandaughter, Samantha Cardinali. She will be sorely missed by those who knew her.

A celebration of life service is planned for family and friends Saturday, April 9, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue.

If you would like to attend, simply bring a story and a smile. She would have.

This a paid notice.