William Crews McCulloch | Graham Leader – Graham Leader
William Crews McCulloch, 90, a resident of Albuquerque, NM since 2014, ran into the loving arms of Jesus on Sept. 18, 2021. He was born into humble beginnings near Hayti, Missouri, the second of five children born to Silas and Edith (Hutson) McCulloch. Growing up on a cotton farm taught him many things including the ingenuity to fix anything with baling wire and duct tape. This early experience prepared him well for a life long love of tinkering and creating his many inventions. He graduated from Gideon High School, Gideon, Missouri in 1950 and enlisted in the Air Force, but soon transferred to the Army, attended OCS-Officer Candidate School, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, and served on active duty during the Korean War until 1953. He was released from active duty, and was assigned to an active reserve unit. This pattern of returning to duty and going off of duty occurred several times in his military career from 1956 – 1965. During two of his civilian periods, he attended college at Southeast Missouri State University and Kansas State University earning his bachelors degree.
Crews was most proud of his varied military service which included duty in Germany, Okinawa, Thailand, and Vietnam to name a few. Among his military schools, he attended the Infantry School for Airborne Training and Artillery School which led to the Special Warfare School for training as a Special Forces Officer (Green Beret). For two years he was a Green Beret Commander who commanded a Special Forces Detachment in Vietnam, working with the CIA on classified assignments in Southeast Asia. Many of his personal combat experiences are recorded in two books by his friend and fellow Army officer, Jim Morris, War Story and Fighting Men, plus two documentaries on the Green Berets. His military decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, and numerous other service medals.
In subsequent years, he served with the Army Reserve, the Texas State Guard, and as the U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador. In 2005, he was appointed the National Commander of the American Volunteer Reserve, and in 2013 was made Ambassador Emeritus. He was deeply devoted in this volunteer position and worked tirelessly to perform many funeral honors for America’s military veterans.
Crews was the epitome of a jack of all trades. In his civilian life at various times, he was a salesman, farmer, managed a cotton gin, owned a manufacturing operation for recreational vehicles, was an active real estate agent and investor, operated a home construction and development company and title insurance company. He even ran for Congress in 1978. Other endeavors included oil and gas exploration, working on DOD contracts, working at Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, and other government projects.
He applied and was granted several patents, and his most successful invention was a rapid access digital locking system whose latch is currently used on many models of rapid access gun vaults. Other more recent inventions included a patient lift device where a single person can lift a fallen person off the floor, an ingenious hog trap to trap wild sows and piglets in TX, and an engine attached to a boat bottom to generate electricity.
Throughout his life Crews had the support of his wife, Marjorie Henry, and they were married in Dallas in April 1952. Theirs was a love affair that lasted 64 years until her death in 2016. In 1999, Crews and Marjorie fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving back to TX from ABQ. They fell in love with the Graham, TX community and were very involved at First Baptist Church. They had many wonderful friends and enjoyed serving at 1st Baptist as well as many civic clubs through the years, such as Lions and Kiwanis. After Marjorie had a stroke, they moved back to ABQ, NM in 2014.
Crews will be remembered for his vibrant, bigger than life personality, his humor (affectionately called “Uncle Crude” by his nephews), his passion for all things America and his devout love of the military, as well as his love of family. His stories will live on in the lives of his children and descendants – they are his legacy. He is survived by two daughters: Sharon (Mike) Paris of Graham, TX; Jane (Leslie) Clinger of Albuquerque, NM; nine grandchildren – Danielle (Joe) Holden of Longview, TX; Mikaela Paris of Arlington, TX; Lauren (Seth) Staples of Portland, OR; Kristin (Daniel) Glenn of Amarillo, TX; Logan (Meaghan) Paris of Graham, TX; William (Lilliam) Clinger of Newport News, VA; Benjamin Clinger, Melissa (Ryan) Baca, and Joel Clinger all of Albuquerque, NM; nine great grandchildren; sister, Bettye (Ray) Henry of St. Louis, MO; brother, Ronnie (Carole) McCulloch of Linden, TN; and sister, Kay (Loren) Belford of Caruthersville, MO; numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Silas McCulloch and Edith (Hutson) McCulloch; wife, Marjorie (Henry) McCulloch; and also his sister Neta Joyce Thompson.
A memorial service at 11 a.m. central time is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 19, at French Funerals, 7121 Wyoming Blvd NE, 87109, Albuquerque, NM. A link to the live stream of the service will be posted the day of the service at FrenchFunerals.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Samaritan’s Purse Operation Heal our Patriots, the Wounded Warrior Project, or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
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