If you look up and see a pretty lady coming with a cake or covered dish, there’s an excellent chance it is Zelma (Hargrave) McCullough.  One of the grand ladies of Sulphur Springs, her family, friends and neighbors attest to Zelma’s generous spirit, kind heart and boundless energy.  And that’s not too bad considering she celebrated her 95th birthday on Friday, Sept. 24.

Born to Elzy and Margie (Hatchel) Hargrave on Sept. 24, 1915, and raised in the Nelta community 16 miles northeast of Sulphur Springs, Zelma is a native of Hopkins County.  She was the eldest of six sisters, including two longtime residents of Sulphur Springs – Thelma Shrode and former Bethel Pendleton.  Her sis, Freda Davis, resides in Dallas.  Her two other sisters, Cora Lou Baxley and Nell Davidson, are deceased.

On Sept. 8 1935, Zelma married Carl McCullough of Sulphur Springs to whom she remained married to for almost 50 years until his death.  His career in the US Army took them away from this area for a few years, including the army base in Abilene.  The eventually settled in Orange.

Zelma’s career in the workforce included several years as a nurse at hospitals in both Sulphur Springs and Greenville, as well as about 40 years as an employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad in Orange.  Following her retirement from the railroad, the couple moved back to Sulphur Springs.

On any given day, you can find Zelma volunteering at the First United Methodist Church, helping at a local nursing home, working in her beautiful yard in Lake Highlands, baking for various events around town, creating beautiful handwork or visiting people who are sick or need assistance.  Like the Energizer Bunny, she just never seems to run down or tire of reaching out to touch the lives of other people.  As a result, she is greatly loved and admired by many people.

Zelma’s family hosted a private birthday party for her on Saturday, Sept. 25, at the LouViney’s Restaurant in Sulphur Springs to celebrate her wonderful life of love and service.