John Patrick Culhane, November 20, 1932 – November 19, 2021 died suddenly after a short illness at home with his wife Iris Culhane (nee Campbell) on the eve of his 89th birthday.
John lived a full life marked by immense generosity and service to the work that he did and to the people in his life.
John was born and raised in the Tremont neighborhood in the Bronx where he met his wife Iris. After a short time in the Navy teaching sailors to swim, he joined the New York City Police Department. He began as a cop on the beat in Harlem, then later became a detective in mid-town Manhattan where he solved crimes, made friends and hobnobbed with presidents, actors and the people who occupied the most famous neighborhood in the greatest city. John was a gifted raconteur; his time on the force gave him endless stories to share with family and friends.
John was also a gifted athlete and coach. He began coaching a small group of young swimmers at Cedar Hollow Country Club in 1967, which grew into his instrumental role as one of the founders of the Rockland County Summer Swim League. John went on to co-found the US Swimming Team, The Rockland County Dolfins. There, with his fellow head coach Art Backman, he coached the team to League Championships and was instrumental in helping many swimmers win college scholarships. While success mattered, it was the influence he had over the lives of 100’s of young swimmers that he is most remembered for.
After 25 years of service in the NYPD, John served as head of security of Rockland Community College for 15 years. In retirement John and Iris spent springs and summers in Manahawkin, New Jersey, where they hosted their children and friends, and their granddaughters and friends. Fall and winter were spent in the South Shores Community in Melbourne Beach, Florida where John organized the annual St Patrick’s Day party, golf outings and card games.
He is survived by his amazing wife of 67 years, Iris Culhane (Campbell). They met as teenagers, married in the Bronx, raised their children in Rockland County, New York and grew a love and partnership that would truly last and thrive for over 70 years. He is also survived by his sons John G Culhane (David Girasole) and Douglas Culhane, his daughter Lisa Culhane (John Goswell), his four granddaughters Rikki Lee and Juliet Goswell, Courtnee and Alexa Girasole-Culhane, his sister Ann Marie Holly and her husband Edward Holly, and his nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be Monday November 29, 2021 from 2pm to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm at Maxwell‐Tobie Funeral Home, 573 Mill Creek Road, Manahawkin, NJ. A Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 30, 11am at St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin, NJ. All are welcome and encouraged to join the family for a luncheon reception after the service where we will toast to John, share some stories (although none will likely be as good as the stories he told) and celebrate a full life, well-lived.
Donations in John's memory can be made to USA Swimming foundation at: https://www.usaswimming.org/foundation/giving/make-a-donation