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Edward Otto Bulian was born in 1920 in Groton, South Dakota to Max E. and Rose A. Bulian. He was preceded in death by his parents and his two older brothers, August and Harrold Bulian. His is survived by two sisters, Gertrude Lee of Seattle, WA, and Helen Ford of Amarillo, TX, one brother, Eugene Bulian of Yankton, SD, his wife Darlene, son Milton of Jacksonville, NC, daughters Barbara Maxwell of Paso Robles, CA, and Michelle Cassidy of Downey, CA, four grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Eddie graduated in 1940 from Groton High School where he participated in Football, Track, and Glee Club. After high school, he enlisted in the South Dakota National Guard and served with the 147th Field Artillery Regiment. After the unit was mobilized into active duty in November, 1940, it was transferred to Ft. Ord, CA, until it was assigned as part of the Pensacola convoy to reinforce General MacArthur’s forces in the Philippines. They were two weeks at sea with a stop at Pearl Harbor when they received the news of the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. Their convoy was diverted to Brisbane, Australia, from where they moved to Darwin and then on to Milne Bay, Papua, New Guinea. Eventually, they traded their artillery pieces for trucks and were attached to the 1st Marine Division, participating in landings on the Solomon Islands and other places in the vicinity of New Guinea. Upon returning to the States at the end of the war, he was assigned to the Army Air Corps and stationed at Keesler Field, Biloxi, MS; Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, TX; and Lowry Field, Denver, CO. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and received the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, and six Overseas Service bars before his Honorable Discharge in October, 1945.
When he returned home to South Dakota after the war, jobs were scarce. At the suggestion of his Army buddy, Marty Tunnicliff, he came to Southern California, followed by his fiancÃ©e Darlene Stellner. They were married May 16, 1946, in Long Beach at First Lutheran Church. Eddie was always looking for advancement, starting with a job working the tobacco counter in a five-and-dime store, then working a sales route for Luzianne Coffee Company. Finally, an opportunity arose for him to work in the marble industry as a helper. This became his life’s career, moving from helper to setter, then field foreman and finally shop foreman where he designed and built a gang saw to cut large blocks of marble into slabs for fabrication. Eventually, he went back to the field, which was where he seemed happiest. Before his retirement in 1982, he worked at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, CA; Home Savings and Loan buildings (now Chase Bank); and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA.
Eddie is best known as a servant to his friends and neighbors, helping them with home repairs, yard work, or automotive needs. He purchased his only home in 1953 in Downey, CA, where he always had a garden with a wide variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables that supplied family, friends, and neighbors. Even in his last year, still the farm boy from South Dakota, he raised tomatoes outside his and Darlene’s room at The Villa.
Services Friday, April 27, 10am at Miller-Mies Morturary, Downey – Burial will follow at Riverside National Cemetery for more information www.miller-miesmortuary.com.
Published: April 26, 2012 – Volume 11 – Issue 02