William E. Pullen Jr. would have loved a recent Monday at the Spring Meadow Golf Course in Farmingdale.
There was fellowship. There was food. There was golf. And the proceeds from the fourth annual William E. Pullen Jr. Scholarship Fund Golf Outing will make it easier for graduates of his beloved Neptune High School to attend college.
“We expect to be able to award four scholarships to deserving graduates of Neptune High School this spring,” said event spokesman Dick Cottrell, Pullen Jr.’s brother in law.
The weather was again great for golf, another reason for Pullen Jr. to smile.
“We certainly could not have had any better weather,” Cottrell said. “The temperature was in the middle 70s. There was an absolutely clear sky and brilliant sunshine. There was not a breadth of a breeze. It was just a beautiful day.”
The event utilized the Best Ball format. The winning foursome of Shane Peters, Dan Pires, Ryan Campbell and John Carozza fired a 62.
Mike McGee hit the longest drive among the men. Tom Merola won the closest to the pin contest for men. Leanna Taylor won the longest drive and closest to the hole competitions for women. The event consisted of 50 players.
“Everyone had a wonderful time,” Cottrell said. “It was almost like a celebration of life kind of thing. It was for a great cause. The people from the gold course were very cooperative. The people in the restaurant could not have taken better care of us. It was a very upbeat kind of thing.”
Pullen Jr. was an avid golfer. The Fund was established to benefit a graduating Neptune High School student pursuing a degree in education. Pullen Jr. was an educator and administrator in the Neptune School District for 40 years. His widow, Bertha L. Williams, is the assistant superintendent of schools in the Neptune School District.
Pullen Jr. taught social studies, computer technology and black history and served as the director of guidance at Neptune High School. He was also an assistant boys and girls basketball coach for the Scarlet Fliers. He died suddenly of a heart attack Dec. 10, 2010 at the age of 61.
“Bill was also probably one of my best friends in the world,” said Cottrell, a Brick Township resident. “He just loved kids. He truly, truly loved what he did. He had a calling. He was an educator 24/7. Each place we visited within any radius of Neptune we invariably ran into one of his former students. He was a very warm, outgoing person who always had time for kids who had problems. That included going into his wallet if someone needed a couple of bucks to go on a trip. He made sure nobody missed out because they did not have the money.
Williams was married to Pullen Jr. for 10 years. They knew each other for 30 years.
Cottrell and Pullen Jr. were teammates on the Ocean Township High School boys basketball team, then coached by Ron Truex.
“We were friends in high school,” Cottrell said. “He played well. He was a forward and had a good time playing basketball.”
Pullen Jr.’s friends and family members were quick to establish the event.
“We talked about how it would be nice to have some sort of a longstanding memento type of thing,” Cottrell said. “Bill was an educator for so may years and we felt the logical thing would be to have some kind of a scholarship fund, My son, Andrew, (a Tinton Falls resident) got involved. It was a family kind of thing.”
Past scholarship winners were Catherine Hourehan (The College of New Jersey), Yolanda Williams (Montclair State University), Cherylynn Finklin (Brookdale Community College), Shea Moorer (Ramapo College), Tyra Washington (Kean University), Jasmine Hawkins (Albright College), Chynna Foster (University of Pittsburgh), Julianna Masco (Brookdale), Lulu DeWoolf (Brookdale), Shinelle Gilbert (Howard University), Emily Millaway (Fairfield) and Brittany Bell (Lincoln University).