Margaret McCullum, 77, died on November 24, 2020, at Kansas Christian Home due to complications of COVID-19 and went home to her Lord and Savior. She was born August 26, 1943 in Great Bend, Kansas to Richard A. and Mary L. (Wright) McCullum. She was the third of four children who were just about a year apart. Growing up the McCullum clan lived in a 8 by 43-foot mobile home during their elementary school years. In 1965, Margaret along with her two brothers and sister accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior and were baptized in the First Christian Church in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Marg used to recall that our father, who worked every day of the week, took that day off to witness our baptisms.
When Margaret was young and preparing for a career, she felt her choices were limited – nurse or a teacher. Her mom and sister, Marie, were nurses, but she didn’t like taking care of sick people so she chose to become a teacher. In 1961, she graduated from Great Bend High School. In 1965, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and she earned a Master’s degree in Librarianship, both from Emporia State Teachers College. She started out as a third-grade teacher in the Topeka public schools and later became the first full-time elementary school librarian in Topeka for nearly 18 years. She was very active in the Topeka Westside Christian Church. She loved kids and was active in children’s ministries and many remember her as a Christian clown.
In 1983, at a Christian woman’s retreat, she felt God’s calling on her life to go to seminary. She earned a Master of Divinity from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma and was ordained in 1987 in Topeka, Kansas. As a student, she served as a youth minister at the Willow Road Christian Church in Enid. From 1987- 1996, she served as Senior minister at churches in Olney, Illinois and Cimarron, KS. Then in 1996, she moved back to Illinois and served churches in Havana, Maroa, and Bement. In 2001, she had a major car accident in rural Missouri on her way to preach at a friend’s ordination and had to be extracted from her car with the jaws of life and was flown in a helicopter to Columbia, Missouri. She had major surgery at Columbia Regional Hospital and then three months of rehabilitation and therapy. She had to resign from ministry as a result of her injuries, lived in Maroa, Illinois for two more years, and then moved back to Topeka in 2003. She lived in Topeka for the next seven years and continued her work with children’s ministries at the Westside Christian Church. She continued her love for children throughout her life and had many visits from her niece and nephews and her great niece and nephews. She loved her pets, both dogs and cats over the years. The ashes of two of her long-time Bichon companions, Buttons and Dominic, will be interred with her.
In 2010, she moved to a beautiful duplex on the Kansas Christian Home campus in Newton, Kansas, to be closer to family. She was able to participant in many family gatherings over the next 10 years. She always showered the nieces and nephews and the rest of the family with many gifts at Christmas and on birthdays. Recently due to declining health, she was forced to down size and move in a smaller apartment at KCH and give up her pets and car. Margaret and her brother, Richard, shared the same birthday, one year apart. Her last family celebration was with Richard and Marie and their spouses in her apartment this past August 26th.
She is survived by her brothers Richard (Linda) McCullum of Hutchinson, Robert McCullum of Great Bend, and sister Marie (Roy) Krehbiel of Wichita. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents and her nephew, David.
Due to COVID-19 concerns a private family graveside service will be held in the Great Bend City Cemetery, Great Bend, Kansas on November 30th at 2:00 p.m.
Memorials are suggested to KCH Legacy of John or Shriner’s Children Hospital in care of Petersen Funeral Home.