Brigitte Maria-Pia “Pia” Cullins passed away the evening of November 8, 2017, at the age of 65 following a 24 year couragous battle against cancer. Her last days were spent at home surrounded by her husband, children, grandchildren and brother.
Pia was born on December 13, 1951 in Radeberg, (East) Germany as the second child of Paul Eberhard Reuther and Kathchen Liane Brigitte Clausnitzer and continued as she completed a wonderful life that took her to West Germany and on to live and raise a family in the United States .
Pia’s early years in Radeberg were spent with her mother, father, older brother Michael and grandparents. In 1957, when Pia was four years old, her family fled East Germany for a better life on the other side of the Berlin Wall. They spent approximately two years in Freiburg, West Germany, before moving to Dusseldorf where Pia attended public schools and where she was confirmed in the Protestant faith at the age of 14. Following public school graduation, Pia followed in her mother's footsteps by attending the Red Cross nursing school in Marburg where she completed her fundamental nurse training and then continued on to begin the higher level midwife nurse education.
In 1971 she met Bill Cullins, her future husband and the love of her life, at a European Rodeo Association dance in Giessen, West Germany. Bill was stationed in the United States Army in Bad Megentheim, and they soon became inseparable, spending every possible moment together as they traveled to rodeos in Germany and visited historic castles and old cities throughout Germany and the surrounding region. They were married on December 9, 1972, in Werzburg, West Germany. Their first daughter, Tobi Ann, was born In Wurzburg in November 1973. In December 1973, her husband's military service ended and Pia came to the United States and initially lived in Stephenville, Texas, while her husband attended college.
Bill and Pia's second daughter, Cathy Jo, was born in Brownwood, Texas in January 1976 and their son Billy David was born in Alexandria, Virginia, in January 1979. The family moved to various military posts throughout the United States as Bill served a second period of active duty in the military. During this period, Pia was a stay-at-home mother, caring for their children and holding down the "home front" when her husband was away on temporary duty assignments.
In the late 70's and early 80's, Pia and her family lived in San Angelo where her husband was employed by Pool Company's operations support division. Bill accepted a faculty position at Aims College in Greeley, Colorado, in late 1982 and they moved Colorado where they spent almost 20 years raising their children and enjoying the beautiful Rocky Mountain outdoors as they camped, hiked, mountain biked, cross-country skied and windsurfed at locations in Colorado and the surrounding states.
During that time, Pia returned to college to complete a respiratory therapy program of study and became a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). After graduating, she worked in clinics, hospitals and home care. Caring for people was her passion and she was loved by her patients for her compassions and on patient care.
Bill and Pia returned to San Angelo, Texas, in 2000, when he accepted a position with Angelo State University to be closer to Bill’s aging parents. They continued their love of the outdoors and spent many hours enjoying her favorite areas such as San Angelo's Middle Concho Park and the surrounding open spaces. Pia served as a volunteer at Community Hospital and continued her focus on patients by training her Basset Hound Bubba to become a therapy dog. Pia also became the unofficial "race mom" for many local cyclists and runners as she helped her husband organize and direct races. Many people in San Angelo will fondly recall her "Georgia Cornbread" that she prepared for participant to enjoy after events.
Pia was a huge animal lover and her caregiving extended to abandoned or injured dogs and cats. Many rescue dogs and one cat found themselves in her loving arms, spoiled and cared for until their final days. Her latest rescues, Bubba the Bassett, and a cat named Boots will miss her greatly.
She is survived by her husband Bill, her children, Tobi, Cathy, and Billy, a brother Michael, four grandchildren Mackenzie, Stephanie, Tyler and John; a niece Tina, and a nephew, Frank, and a large group of extended family and friends. She had a long and wonderful life and is now enjoying her eternal heavenly award.
A Funeral Service will be held Friday, November 10, at 2 p.m., at Harper Funeral Home, 2606 Southland Boulevard, in San Angelo.