CULLINAN, Richard E., DMD, age 60, of Tampa, passed away unexpectedly Monday, July 30, 2018. Richard was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 21, 1957 and graduated from Chaminade High School in Hollywood, Florida in 1975. Dr. Cullinan earned his DMD from the University of Florida School of Dentistry in 1992, having previously completed his B.S. at the University of Florida in 1982. He moved to the Tampa area and began his practice on Manhattan Avenue in 1997.
Dr. Cullinan served his patients and the local community for over twenty years as a kindhearted, gentle and award-winning dentist. His unique office reflected his caring and creative personality. Each of his treatment rooms was different and personally designed by him to help relax and calm adults and children alike. Everyone, rich or homeless, was welcomed to a soothing environment, lent a compassionate ear and treated with respect and dignity. He loved his patients. They were his passion.
Outside of his practice, Richard was very creative and artistic in many ways. Whether it was his beautiful photography, or stained glass pieces that he designed and made, he patiently paid attention to every detail, striving for perfection, much as he did in his dentistry. His beautiful design of a stained glass door for the entry to his office, depicting the Staff of Asclepius (representing the healing aspect of the medical arts) unfortunately, never saw completion.
When his daughter, Delaney, was young she’d often spend time with her dad engaged in many types of artistic pursuits ranging from painting to clay models to puzzles. On long weekends in
Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesville, Richard (an avid nature photographer) taught her everything he knew about creating beautiful pictures. These trips were special for him in that he was
sharing time with his daughter in a setting that brought together many of the things that were near and dear to him – animals, the arts & Gainesville, Florida (home of the Gators).
A lifelong animal-lover (and vegetarian for most of his adult life), Dr. Cullinan loved the many pets that shared his home over the years. Stray, neglected or injured animals always found a way to his door, and they soon became part of the family. It was as if they somehow knew they would be safe with him. (One of the objects visible to patients in a carefully cultivated garden outside his office is a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals.) No number of cats was ever too many for him to help. Some were less cooperative with their own care than others – he once sustained a shoulder injury rescuing a cat from the roof of his home.
Richard was one in a million. He was unbelievably kind and thoughtful; always willing to generously give help and time to those in need. It always came from the heart. This world needs more genuine and kind souls like him. He will be greatly missed by those whose lives he touched.
Dr. Cullinan is survived by his beloved fiance Jennifer Schulte; cherished daughter Delaney Cullinan; step-children Zachary Harvey, Veronica Haynes, Zeca Depinho and Vivianne Depinho; siblings Honor and Robert Cullinan (Paula); step-grandchildren Grayson Depinho and Gabriel Haynes; nephews Joseph and Thomas Cullinan and many adored friends and clients. A memorial service will be held Monday, August 20, 2018, at 2 pm, at Christ The King Catholic Church located at 821 S Dale Mabry Hwy in Tampa.