Edwards F. Rullman, 94, formerly of Red Bank, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 3, bringing to a close a full life well lived.
A longtime resident of South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and Brooklyn Heights, New York, he spent the last three years in residence at Broad Reach in Chatham.
He was born in Red Bank on October 10, 1921 to Margaret Edwards Rullman and Dr. Walter A. Rullman, a World War I Veteran and prominent surgeon who practiced medicine in Red Bank for 50 years and was the chief of surgery at Riverview Hospital.
The beautiful, historic home on West Front Street that included his father’s medical practice is now gone and is the site of the Riverside Gardens Park.
He attended Blair Academy in Blairstown where he was competitive in track and field. He attended Yale as an undergraduate where he continued in track and field competition and earned his bachelor of arts in 1944.
He served in the US Army Signal Corp during World War II, and after the war in occupied Vienna, attaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
Ed often recalled his happy childhood spent sailing, fishing, crabbing and ice boating on the Shrewsbury River. His passion for sailing and interest in boatbuilding, hull design and maritime history continued throughout his life and inspired his choice of architecture as a career.
In the early 1930s, he was part of a group of young teens from the Monmouth Boat Club who started an amateur sailing organization which became known as the Barefoot Yacht Club.
At the onset of World War II, he joined the U.S. Armed Services along with most of the other members. His mother Margaret, along with Katherine Lippincott, Louise Sayre, and Lillian Reamer, started a newsletter for the 29 young servicemen to keep them connected to their friends and families back home and to each other. The newsletters were named “The Barefoot Bulletins” and they chronicled the war time experiences of the ser vicemen, as well as events on the home front. They have been digitally archived at the Rutgers Oral Histor y Project.
In 1949 he met Josephine Francesca Consoli from Lawrence, Massachusetts, who had recently completed her training as a nurse and was a vocal student at the New England Conservatory of Music. They married in 1953.
He attended Yale School of Architecture and received his master’s degree in 1955. He received a Fulbright Grant to study in Rome and spent the following year with Francesca in Italy. The couple travelled extensively abroad in the years following, spending many happy times in Italy and developing life-long friendships there.
In 1961 the couple bought an 1829 corner brownstone on Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights, New York, which they lovingly restored over the years. They raised their two daughters there, Claudia and Mimi. They entertained guests from all over the world in their beautiful home, and Mrs. Rullman was an accomplished musician, a renowned gourmet cook and a gracious hostess.
Mr. Rullman was employed by an architectural firm in Manhattan until 1965, at which point he went into business for himself, and in 1969 he formed a firm with his friend and longtime business partner, Herbert Kaufman, which specialized in restoring properties in New York City’s historic districts.
Mr. Rullman was instrumental in the movement to establish Landmark Designation for Brooklyn Heights in 1965, New York City’s first historic district. He was chairman of the Brooklyn Heights Design Advisory Council, which offered free consultation to people under taking architectural restorations. He served as governor, president and on the advisory board of the Brooklyn Heights Association. He also served as governor of the Long Island Historical Society and governor of the New England Society.
His personal pursuits included avid study and appreciation of American history and the creation of the Constitution, the works of Shakespeare, evolutionary biology and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
In 2000, Mr. Rullman renovated the family’s longtime summer house in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, where the family spent many summers together. In 2008, the couple sold their house in New York and moved to their Cape Cod home full time.
Mr. Rullman was predeceased by his beloved wife in 2012. He is survived by his two daughters, Claudia Edwards Rullman and Martha Ames Rullman; and a son-in-law, John Jacob Schuster. He will be sorely missed by his family.
Memorial donations may be made to the Wellfleet Conservation Trust, the Mystic Seaport Museum, or the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. For online condolences, please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com.
If you liked this story, you’ll love our newspaper. Click here to subscribe