Rhea Ann Tyler Pullen, 63, translator, businesswoman

February 03, 2003

Rhea Ann Tyler Pullen, a businesswoman, retired National Security Agency translator and civic leader, died of cancer Thursday at her Annapolis home. She was 63.

Born Rhea Ann Tyler, she grew up in Crisfield and graduated from Crisfield High School. She studied nursing at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she met her future husband, Ronald A. Pullen.

They eloped in 1960 while he was serving in the Army in Georgia. The couple later moved to Elkton, where they lived until 1979. Mrs. Pullen was president of the Jaycee-ettes and an avid fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society. She formerly owned a dress shop, The Bottom Drawer, and was a buyer for Peebles department store.

In 1979, she moved with her family to Anne Arundel County, and worked as a translator for the National Security Agency. After retiring in 1993, she became president of Advance Home Oxygen and Medical Supply, a medical equipment company she co-owned with her son, R. Mark Pullen of Shady Side.

She was a member of the Clownettes of the Boumi Temple Shriners Clowns in Baltimore. She enjoyed playing bridge and writing poems - three of which were published, said her husband.

"She liked to collect lighthouses because her great-grandfather was a lighthouse keeper from Crisfield," he said.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 4 Wallace Manor Road in Edgewater.

In addition to her husband and son, Mrs. Pullen is survived by daughters Melanie Pullen Gness of Annapolis and Kimberly Pullen Utz of Arnold; a sister, Joan Tyler Riggin of Leesburg, Fla.; and a grandson.

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