Karen Cullinan of Weirton, a selfless mother and grandmother whose greatest joy in life was helping others, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, May 13, 2021. She was 73.
Karen was born in Pittsburgh, Pa, on August 12, 1947, the first of four children born to Roman John and Anna Mae Benty.
Karen grew up in Shaler Township and graduated from Shaler High School in 1965. Like most teens at the time, she was somewhat of a hippie, where hitchhiking to Woodstock crossed her mind.
The love of music carried on throughout her life. She enjoyed Motown, James Taylor, Norah Jones and enjoyed going to the symphony and listening to classical music.
In her early adult life, Karen attended Clarion University, and this is where she met the love of her life and future husband, Charles Falkner. They lived on a farm together in Muzette, Pennsylvania. Karen and Charles were married for around five years until his sudden passing due to a brain aneurysm.
Karen joined the Peace Corp and moved to Baltimore, Maryland after Charles passing.
Karen later went back to college, and graduated from the Washington Hospital School of Nursing in 1979. Her nursing career was focused on oncology. She worked at Magee Woman’s Hospital, Allegheny General Hospital, Wheeling Hospital, UPMC, and retired from WMC Breast Care Center.
In 1980, Karen married Michael Cullinan, and together they were blessed with two sons and three grandchildren. In 1987 Karen and Michael divorced but remained devoted to their family.
Karen loved a good game of scrabble and watching the Steelers or the Mountaineers. She loved Cape Cod and enjoyed traveling to Tidioute, PA, and Chautauqua, NY.
Most of all, Karen will be remembered for the love she had for her family. She just adored her grandchildren, and was the happiest when she was spending time with them. She would drop everything and change plans to help out and spend time with her sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, brothers, sister, and nieces and nephews.
She was truly selfless.
In addition to her father, Roman John Benty, and her first husband, Charles Falkner, Karen was also preceded in death by her stepfather, Jerry Terwilliger, and her nephew, Joseph Lawrence “Joey C.” Cullinan.
Karen will be remembered with love by her two sons, Christopher Cullinan (Stacy), Matthew Cullinan (Alicia); her mother, Anna Mae Terwilliger; her sister, Carol Cross (Troy); her two brothers, John Benty (Mary Ellen), and Ron Romanovsky; her adorable grandchildren, Madeline, Vivienne and Zeke Cullinan; the father of her sons, Michael Cullinan (Beverly) and many nieces and nephews.
Remembrance will be 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, at the Greco Hertnick Funeral Home, 3219 Main St., where an informal celebration of Karen’s life will start at 7 p.m.. Just the way she would have wanted it.
In life, Karen was very devoted to Pittsburgh Cure Sarcoma and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to “Team Joey C.” in care of the Pittsburgh Cure Sarcoma. www.pittsburghcure sarcoma.org.
Share tributes at www.grecohertnick.com.