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New residents built a three-generation business together

New independent living residents Paddy and Sylvia McCullough were both born and raised in the small northwest Texas town of Hereford, about halfway between Amarillo and Clovis, New Mexico. They moved into Independent Living at the Westerly in May of this year.

Paddy was an upperclassman and Sylvia an underclassman when they met in 1950. They married in 1956.

The couple took a one-day honeymoon to Colorado, in a “hot machine,” a Chrysler 300 a friend loaned Paddy for the trip. They spent one night at the XIT Motel in Dalhart and one night at the Biltmore Hotel in Colorado Springs.

Immediately after their getaway, Paddy returned to his studies at Texas Tech, where he majored in engineering. Sylvia joined him there and earned a degree in home economics.

After they graduated, the couple lived in Houston, where Paddy worked for the Howard Hughes Corporation as a design engineer. His initial focus was the design of rock bits for drilling oil wells. He went on to work as a field engineer and project engineer on pipeline and other large projects.

Paddy worked as an engineer for 11 years. By that time, the McCullough boys, Clayton and Don, were growing up, and both Sylvia and Paddy were tired of his lengthy absences when he was out in the field.

The couple was interested in building something together, so they decided to move to Wichita and open a tractor sales business. Wichita Tractor Company, which is now operated by Clayton and Don.

The company began as a Ford operation, but Paddy and his family have repeatedly expanded into new product lines, including New Holland, Kubota, and Bad Boy Mowers. They also expanded their business into the Hutchinson market.

It has always been a true family business. Sylvia worked as the parts manager in the 1990s, and Paddy continued to work for the company on a limited basis until recently

“I slowed down, but didn’t stop until about two years ago,” he said. “But the boys were doing a great job, so I decided they didn’t need me.”

Their grandchildren are preparing to take the helm for a third generation of leadership in the McCullough family.

“We’ve been truly blessed,” both Paddy and Sylvia said.

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