Joe Bullick, longtime curator of North Hills historical memorabilia, dies |
North Hills

Joe Bullick, longtime curator of North Hills historical memorabilia, dies

Tony LaRussa
Joe Bullick was on hand for the 2017 grand opening of the McCandless/North Allegheny Heritage Center, where his extensive collection of North Hills historical artifacts are on display. Bullick died May 25, 2019. He was 87.
Joe Bullick greets people as they arrive for the 2017 grand opening of the McCandless museum.
WQED-TV personality Rick Sebak views some of the historical items on display during the 2017 grand opening of the McCandless/Northern Allegheny Heritage Center. Joe Bullick, who assembled the artifacts, died on May 25, 2019 at age 87.
People wait in line for the May 20, 2017 grand opening of the McCandless/Northern Allegheny Heritage Center, where an extensive collection of North Hills historical artifacts and other memorabilia assembled by Joe Bullick was put on display. Bullick, 87, of Pine, died on May 25, 2019.

Long-time North Hills historian Joe Bullick, whose eclectic collection of local history artifacts and American memorabilia is housed in the McCandless/Northern Allegheny Heritage Center in McCandless, has died, town officials announced.

Bullick of Pine Township passed away May 25. He was 87, officials announced on the town’s website.

Bullick began assembling the extensive memorabilia collection after retiring in 1996 as head of custodial services for the North Allegheny School District, where he worked for 40 years.

The collection features items representative of North Hills history and other memorabilia for the benefit of young people who may never have seen some of the items, according to town officials.

Items include an eight-track player, a vintage typewriter, an antique wood-burning stove, an apple cider press, a pay telephone, a Brownie camera, classic toys as well as old photographs, maps and military uniforms.

Municipalities that comprise the North Allegheny School District — McCandless, Marshall, Franklin Park and Bradford Woods — are represented in the museum collection, which contains archival documents from North Allegheny and every yearbook published since 1954.

For a number of years after Bullick’s retirement, the collection was housed at McKnight Elementary School. But school officials asked it be moved for security reasons.

McCandless agreed to take over responsibility for the collection and built a 2,000-square-foot museum to display the items. The building takes its design cues from the one-room schoolhouses that once dotted the farmland that became the north suburbs.

Bullick was on hand for the grand opening of the museum on Community Day in 2014 to give guided tours of the collection.

Town officials said building the museum was a good way to preserve important artifacts that represent the area’s history.

“When this much history has been amassed, it cannot be cast aside and forgotten,” said Toby Cordek, who was town manager at the time.

After town officials agreed to display his collection, Bullick was asked to share his thoughts on the outpouring of support he received to create a space to display what he had gathered over the decades.

“I couldn’t be happier knowing that my collection will be on permanent display for everyone to see for generations to come,” he said.

In addition to his passion for preserving history, Bullick was an active member of the community and served as a youth sports coach for many years. Bullick also authored an autobiography titled “Put a Tent Over the Circus,” the story of foster parenting and adoption.

Bullick is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Emma Hall. He also is survived by a son, Stephen Bullick; a daughter, Elizabeth Bender; four grandchildren and a numerous relatives and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated May 31 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Wexford.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | North Hills
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.