Gary A. Mullen, telephone operator

Gary Mullen

Gary A. Mullen, a retired Bell Atlantic-Maryland Inc. telephone operator who had been a longtime active member of the Civil Air Patrol, died Wednesday of complications from diabetes at Good Samaritan Hospital.

He was 70.

The son of a court clerk and a telephone operator, Gary A. Mullen was born in Baltimore and raised in the city's Pimlico neighborhood.

He was a 1961 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned an associate's degree from what is now Baltimore City Community College.

Mr. Mullen served in the Marine Corps with the 4th Engineers and remained an active Reservist until 1982, when he was discharged with the rank of master sergeant.

He worked as a draftsman for Tate Engineering Inc. and later was a salesman for MacMillan Bloedel Inc., a corrugated paper company.

Mr. Mullen was a telephone operator for the old Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. and successor company Bell Atlantic-Maryland Inc. for 18 years, until his retirement in 2001.

The longtime Idylewylde resident, who had played football in high school, enjoyed coaching youth football leagues for the Towson Optimists. He also was an avid Ravens and University of Maryland football fan.

Mr. Mullen had been active for many years with the Towson Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, where he flew as navigator aboard the organization's airplanes.

"He had always wanted to get his pilot's license," said his wife of 49 years, the former Mary Lynch.

He was a student of World War II and enjoyed listening to Irish folk music.

"You could ask him anything about World War II, and he'd know the answer," his wife said.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 8420 Belair Road, in Fullerton.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Mullen is survived by three sons, Timothy P. Mullen of Finksburg, James Frank Mullen of Arlington, Texas, and Kevin M. Mullen of Kaiserslautern, Germany; a daughter, Kathleen M. "Katie" Cole of Kingsville; and 11 grandchildren.