Cover photo for Anne “Annie” Cullen Tormey's Obituary
Anne “Annie” Cullen Tormey Profile Photo

Anne “Annie” Cullen Tormey

Anne “Annie” Cullen Tormey, aged 72 years, died April 3, surrounded by her family, in Cleveland, Ohio.  She was the daughter of Ronald and Jeanne Cullen (deceased) of Canton, Ohio.  She is survived by her loving partner, Warren, and her brothers and sisters and their families.  Anne graduated from Central Catholic High School in Canton, Ohio and from Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York, and University of London (England).  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the American Pointer Club, Inc., and the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America.  A private family service will be held in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  A Celebration of Life in honor of Annie will take place at a later date.  Details will follow.

Annie founded Freiheit Kennels, in 1983, a non-commercial endeavor, but in Annie’s words, “my passionate endeavor to be a responsible steward for the German Shorthaired Pointer, and Pointer and any dog in need.” Her love of horses and dogs began when she was a young girl, kindergarten age.  Annie named the first family dog, a Dalmatian, Tina.  The day the puppy came home, she spent the night in the basement with Tina.  In elementary school, she had dog and horse shows in the neighborhood with her second dog, Buzzy, a Cocker Spaniel, and her horse, Copper, an American Saddlebred. Throughout high school and college, she showed American Saddlebreds in Equitation and Saddle Seat, and thoroughbreds in Hunter-Jumper competition, and dogs in Obedience.  

After college, Anne moved to Chicago and worked at The First National Bank of Chicago.  She became passionately involved in cooking, especially bread and chocolate.  One year, she made a flourless chocolate birthday cake for Craig Claiborne, the NYT’s famed food critic. When Anne moved back to Cleveland in the early 1980s, she returned to her first love, working with dogs and horses, and founded Freiheit Kennels.  She bred, showed and participated in field activities with her dogs under the Freiheit Kennel name and also co-bred with Paladen Pointers and German Shorthaired Pointers of Riverside, California.

She was a member of many Boards and Associations:   American Pointer Club, Ohio Hall of Fame Pointer Club, a Merit Member of The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America, The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Ohio,  American Kennel Club Merit Breeder, the Weimaraner Club of America, 2003-2004 co-owned/bred #1 Weim, and #1 Weim Westminster Best of Breed Winner 2005.  In 1999, she sponsored and co-owned #1 Weim and Westminster Best of Breed Winner.  She was also a member of the Gordon Setter Club of America.  She supported GSP and Pointer rescues.  Anne was on The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Women’s Board and past president and served on their Executive Board.  She was past President to The Visiting Nurses of Stark County Board of Trustees, and on the Board of the Margaret B. Shipley Children’s Clinic.

Annie was a bright light in her family and to all who knew her.  “She was fun, and funny and very quick-witted,” as one of her friends said of her.  She could be serious, but loved a great party.  She was full of energy, so enthusiastic about life.  Annie was generous and kind, loyal and supportive.  She recently paid one of her best friends’ phone bills, since that phone was turned off and Anne couldn’t reach her.  She was a good listener, and shoulder to cry on.  Her niece wrote, “there are no words sufficient to capture how much Annie will be missed for how much she loved her family, friends and country…how passionate and steadfast she was in her beliefs.”  She vibrantly supported the Cleveland Browns and the Guardians and her nephew’s school, Ohio State.  She loved Cleveland, the color red, the poetry of e. e. cummings, the novels of Faulkner, her rich Irish heritage, cool cars, the United States and its history.  She was devout in her belief in God.  She carried her mom’s small bible in her car, along with her rosary beads and cell phone.  She loved Chanel fragrance, walking her dogs in muddy fields,  books on classical architecture, old maps and sitting by a fire with her dogs and family and friends.  She was one of a kind, and we will never forget dear Annie. 


Taken from Annie’s website:

If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow

If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder

If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow

If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile

But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me

                         -Author Unknown

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