Valois "Val" Irene Pullen, 81, of McCook, died Saturday, Jan. 1, 2005, at Community Hospital.
She was born April 24, 1923, in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Lewis W. and Anna A. (Weaver) Hall. Her elementary education was in Council Bluffs and Fairbury Public Schools. She graduated from Fairbury High School in 1941.
She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor of arts degree in 1947, with a major in microbiology and minors in chemistry and English. She did graduate studies in education at UNL, Kansas State University and Kearney State College.
She married Robert L. Pullen on April 18, 1946, at Howard Hall on the University of Nebraska campus. They had no children. Bob and Val were always involved in education. They moved to McCook in 1954, where he served McCook College as instructor as well as registrar. He was a Congregational minister for the towns of Diller, Cambridge and McCook.
Val was an elementary teacher in Riverton, Franklin from 1951-1954. She taught first grade at West Ward in McCook from 1954-1958. She then taught eight grade science at the junior high from 1958-1982 and taught summer sessions at McCook Community College from 1955-1966.
Val found an extended family through her very active involvement in the local, state, and national education associations. Her service in all possible positions for the McCook Education Association (MEA) lead to successful elections as District V President, as a member of the Board of Directors, and eventually as full-time president of the Nebraska State Education Association for the 1980-1981 school year. Val was instrumental in the founding of NSEA-R (Nebraska State Education Association-Retired) and served nationally as Advisory Council member and then President of NEA-R (National Education Association-Retired). Val always said "Every decision that affects education is a political decision." She was appointed by Gov. Exon to a term on the Nebraska Professional Practices Commission (NPPC) for 1978-1981 and served as president of the National Council of State Education Associations (NCSEA) for 1981-1982.
She loved teaching her students and maintained an interest in kids all around her even late in her life. Val's other love was traveling and she organized van trips with friends from McCook. She enjoyed traveling to Alaska many times to visit her great-nephews Bailey and Skylar Arend.
She was a member of Memorial United Methodist Church, MUMC Esther Circle, McCook Library Board and Foundation, the YMCA Board, Chi Chapter Delta Kappa Gamma, and Chapter GY PEO.
She is survived by her brother Myrton L. Hall and his wife, Dee of Omaha; nephews Chris and Maggi Arend of Anchorage, Alaska, Randy and Jean Hall of St Paul, Minn., and Lewis and Karen Christensen of Phoenix, Ariz.; "surrogate" grandchildren, Scott Busing of College Station, Texas, Mark Busing of Jakarta, Indonesia, Shelby and Riley Allen and their dad, Ken of McCook.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband on December 9, 1972; and two sisters, Phyllis Christensen and Roberta (Bobbe) Arend.
Memorials may be sent in her name to the McCook Library Foundation or the McCook Ed Thomas YMCA.
Funeral services are Thursday, 10 a.m. at Memorial United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Thurman officiating. Burial is in Riverview Cemetery.
At Val's request there will be rolls and coffee for her family and friends before the service at 8:45 a.m., in the church basement. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Visitation is Wednesday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., at the funeral home. Friends may also go online at www.carpenterbreland.com to extend condolences.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.