Thomas Stott McCulla, born Aug. 31, 1937, died peacefully in his home on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, at the age of 83. Tom was a longtime resident of Rhododendron Road in Fitzwilliam and passed away there in the loving presence of his three children.
Tom spent the majority of his childhood and adolescence in Crookston, Minn., to parents Royal “Mac” McCulla and Dorothy Stott McCulla. He had one sister, Mary Wold, from Boulder Creek, Calif., who passed away 10 months before him. Tom met and married his former wife, Beverly (Seeker) McCulla, from Minneapolis, in 1964.
Tom was an excellent speaker and moderator, and attended Brown Institute Broadcasting School in Minneapolis. Shortly after graduating, he landed a job at local radio station WCNL in Newport, and later transferred to WKNE in Keene. His initial job at WCNL prompted Tom and Bev to pack up their 1965 two-seater Ford Mustang and drive halfway across the country to start a new life. Tom then began doing two things he held near and dear: he had a talk radio show, and he played the music he loved! Although he eventually left radio after having his second child, his love for good conversation and good music never wavered. Neither did his ability to be a great moderator and to get along with others, as shown by his work for the State of New Hampshire Employment Security in Keene for the next 30 years.
Throughout the day and prior to his leaving this world, Tom was surrounded by those who loved and knew him best: his daughter, Kate McCulla; his daughter Meaghan McCulla and her husband, Derek Trudelle; and his son, Ben McCulla, and his girlfriend, Jessica Pelkey. Many other family members were also in his presence, including his former wife, Beverly McCulla; his niece, Mara Wold, via video; his grandchildren: Kelsey Breen, Meaghan Breen and Noah Breen, and their father, Peter Breen; his fourth grandchild, Elijah Frye, gave tribute in his own way from afar. Friends also came throughout the day to share laughter, memories, tears and Tom stories.
Music was a big part of Tom’s life, so on the last day of his life and while surrounded by family and friends, the room was filled with music from artists such as Cat Stevens, Roger Whitaker, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte and Roberta Flack. In addition to music, Tom was drawn to walks in the woods on his property, good conversations, raising Scottish terriers, playing volleyball with the Rockwood crew, sketching, reading and NPR radio. Tom was also a longstanding member of the Fitzwilliam Planning Board throughout the ‘70s and played a big role in town politics for many years.
Tom was recently asked, “What are three things that describe you?” His responses were: humor, moderation and the ability to get along with others. This says it all. Now, more than ever, Tom’s traits of kindness, humor, and moderation are traits we could all use now.
Please help us celebrate Tom’s life at a memorial service next spring at the Cathedral of the Pines on a date to be announced in the future.
The arrangements are in the care of Compassionate Cremation of N.H., 32 Maple St., Wilton. To view an online obituary or leave a condolence, please visit our website at www.compnewhampshire.com.