William H. McCullough, 86, a judge who served 26 years on the Circuit Court bench in Prince George’s County, died of pulmonary fibrosis Feb. 16 at his home in Seat Pleasant.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Aimee McCullough.
At his retirement in 1995, Judge McCullough was chief judge of Maryland’s 7th Judicial Circuit, which comprises Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties. He also was administrative judge of the Prince George’s Circuit Court.
He was appointed a judge in 1969, elected to a 15-year term in 1970 and reelected in 1986. He retired when he turned 70.
Judge McCullough served on the panel of judges that disbarred former vice president Spiro T. Agnew in 1974 after Agnew’s plea of no contest to a charge of evading $13,500 in federal income taxes. The panel said Agnew had been “morally obtuse.”
William Harrison McCullough was born in Washington and graduated in 1943 from Woodrow Wilson High School. After Navy service in World War II, he graduated from George Washington University and its law school.
Following his law school graduation in 1950, he went into private practice with his father in the Mount Rainier law firm of McCullough, Pace and McCullough. He was instrumental in the formation of the Prince George’s County Legal Aid Society, and he represented the Prince George’s County Liquor Board.
As a judge, he was known as a mentor and teacher to young and inexperienced lawyers.
Off the bench, he was known as “Bill,” not “Judge,” and his childhood and Navy nicknames “Twinkle-Toes” and “Ol’ Blue Eyes” remained with him all his life.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Violet Wagner McCullough of Seat Pleasant; three children, Aimee McCullough of Ellicott City, William H. McCullough Jr. of Sharpsburg, Md., and Mary Beth Bates of Adamstown; a brother, Richard McCullough of Gaithersburg; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
— Bart Barnes