Robert Eugene McCullough
1942 - 2021
Robert Eugene “Gene” McCullough, 79, a retired medical researcher passed away on September 5, 2021, at Denver Health Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in a bicycling accident earlier that day. He lived in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. McCullough was born on June 29, 1942, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. His father, Timothy P. McCullough, Jr., was a distinguished astrophysicist. His mother, Virginia B. McCullough, was a homemaker, and master gardener. Mr. McCullough’s parents preceded him in death.
Mr. McCullough attended the University of Virginia, where he was among the first students selected for the prestigious Echols Scholars Program. He graduated magna cum laude, earning a degree in physics. While at UVA, Mr. McCullough performed and toured with the Virginia Glee Club and Virginia Gentlemen a cappella groups.
Upon graduation, Mr. McCullough worked as a physicist at the Atmosphere and Astrophysics Division of the Naval Research Lab in Washington, DC, and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado.
Then in 1970, Mr. McCullough began what would become a decades-long calling as a medical investigator at the Cardiovascular Pulmonary Research Laboratory at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. His work at the CPRL resulted in significant advancements to the understanding of conditions such as hypoxia, high altitude pulmonary edema, and Chronic Mountain Sickness. Mr. McCullough’s high altitude field research took him to locales including Pikes Peak, Tibet, and Bolivia. His body of work is chronicled in 67 published research papers.
After retiring from medical research, Mr. McCullough immersed himself in interests that included the study of languages, piloting his Cessna airplane, hiking, biking, kayaking, mountaineering, cross country skiing, worldwide travel, and gourmet cooking. Mr. McCullough pursued a lifelong passion for music and he performed with groups like the Colorado Chorale and served on the board of the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir.
Mr. McCullough was devoted to volunteerism and pedagogy, and he served his community through action, donating his time and talents to such organizations as Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and American Pilgrims on the Camino.
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Rosann Glas McCullough of Denver; three children, Margaret K. McCullough (Derek Lawrence) of Denver, Colin P. McCullough of Gunnison, and step-daughter Merritt A. Saitta of Miami; sister Jane B. Phillips (Jimmie) of Florence, SC, and brother Charles E. McCullough (Mallary) of Clifton, VA; grandchildren Ryan McCullough, Aidan Lawrence, and step-grandson Cole Saitta; and former spouse and mother of his children Kathleen M. Cole, of Denver.
The family will receive friends on September 11, 2021, at 10 am at the Colorado History Museum on 12th and Broadway in Denver for a celebration of life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be donated to charities in his name including:
For more details on the celebration of life and a photo gallery, please go here: