Longtime pharmacist, public servant receives Rotary Club's top honor

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By Molly Haines

On the evening of July 15, Judy Cull frantically texted her husband Bob Cull encouraging him to come to the Owen County Extension Office immediately. A Walk-A-Thon had just concluded at the First Baptist Church of Owenton, and Bob insisted upon staying to help clean up.
Under the persistence of his wife, Bob eventually arrived, just in time to receive the Owenton Rotary Club’s Owen Countian of the Year award.
It’s the type of dedication Bob showed that evening that led to the award, dedication to not only his church, but the community as a whole.
“I am undeserving of this award, really I am,” a tearful Bob told the crowd. “It’s because of each and every one of you out there that I could get this award because without you there would be no one to serve.”
The son of Dr. O.A. and Bernice Cull, Bob graduated from Owen County High School in 1965 and left Owen County to attend the University of Kentucky. In 1966, he married Judy, his high school sweetheart and went on to graduate from UK’s pharmacy school in 1970.
He returned to his hometown in 1980, opening North Park Pharmacy and becoming involved within the community, coaching his sons Bobby and Matthew in little league teams and becoming a leader for the local cub scouts.
“Bob also moved his membership to First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher,” Owenton Rotary Club President David Lilly said during the presentation. “He also volunteered his time helping youth and senior citizen groups, pastoring services for the church, aiding his community outreach program and always had time to listen to those in need.”
It was during that time Lilly said Bob developed a true love for the people of Owen County and became a lay preacher, eventually speaking at nearly every church in Owen County. On Sunday mornings, Bob could be found visiting New Horizons Medical Center, having prayer with the patients, patients families, nurses and anyone on duty at the hospital until the hospital closed.
Through his work in the hospital, Bob felt the desire to establish a Gideons International presence within the county and played an integral part in the formation of the Owen County chapter, serving as its first president.
In addition to ministering throughout the county, Bob has also served abroad on mission trips to Ecuador and Haiti and has traveled to Brazil for the past 13 years where he’s provided modern medicine, “teaching and showing them the love of Christ.”
For 37 years, Lilly said Bob ran North Park Pharmacy with the idea that citizens of Owen County were “the most important thing,” returning to work after hours to fill prescriptions in both emergency and non-emergency situations.
“Bob was also a member of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce where helped to shape and mold the leadership of the businesses in Owen County,” Lilly added.
Now retired, Lilly said Bob continues to leave his mark on the community by sitting on the board and volunteering time with REACH of Northern Kentucky, a Christian drug recovery ministry.
Bob has also been a supporter of local arts, performing in several plays produced in Owen County, the most recent having been Christmas In Mayberry.
Upon receiving the award, Bob said he owed much of his success to Judy, his wife of nearly 52 years.
“She’s stood behind me, kicked me a few times and fussed at me tonight to get here,” Bob said. “I told her no, I couldn’t get here because I was doing something down at the church. . . . I appreciate the honor; you don’t know how much it means to me. I thank most of all our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without God behind us, we have little we can do in this world to accomplish anything. Through Christ, there’s nothing we cannot do if we get on our knees and pray a little.”