Official Website of the U.S. Marine Raider Association & Foundation

Select Page


Retired Concord Fire Chief Matthew J. Cullinane Jr. passed away peacefully on December 7, 2011 at the Gulfside Hospice in Zephyrhills, Florida. Born in Lexington MA in 1923 to Matthew and Margaret (Mead) Cullinane, Matty grew up in Charlestown, and later, Concord, MA. When World War II began, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, volunteering for the commando operations, and becoming one of Edson’s Raiders in the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, the prototype of what is now the Recon Marines. Matty fought in the battle of Edson’s Ridge on Guadalcanal and was wounded at Tarawa, receiving the Purple Heart. After a lengthy recovery he returned stateside, to marry his beloved Margaret and settle in Concord. There, Matty joined the Concord Fire Department, rising quickly to captain, retiring as Chief in 1978. During his life in Concord, he volunteered at Emerson hospital in the operating room. Matty and Peg raised 3 children, and on their retirement, travelled in their Airstream throughout the U.S. and Canada, settling at Travelers Rest in Dade City, Florida in 1986. Not yet ready to retire, Matty established a first responder squad at TR, teaching volunteer residents first aid, and establishing a close relationship with the Pasco County Rescue Department. He was instrumental in organizing and equipping a substation of the Dade City Fire Department within TR. For many years, Matty and Peg enjoyed a full social life at TR, including round-dancing, golf, and musical events. They had a summer home in the mountains of North Carolina, and moved there full-time for a brief period. But they missed TR and their friends, and moved back in 2004. In later years, Matty focused on caring for his wife Peg, who is now residing at Heartland Nursing Home in Zephyrhills, FL. Matty is survived by his wife of 67 years, Margaret, and their 3 children, Lynne Cullinane of New Jersey, David Cullinane and his wife Sharon (Crescitelli) of California, Marsha Cullinane Cope and husband George of Pennsylvania, and his very close auxiliary daughter Katharine Widmer. Matty leaves behind three of his nine siblings, Daniel Cullinane, Donald Cullinane, and Patricia Napolitano, all of Massachusetts. He was preceded in death by his sisters Barbara Ryan, Claire Eannuzzo, Olive Lalli, and Margaret McDonald, and by his brothers Edward Cullinane and Leonard Cullinane, all of the Concord MA area.