“Farewell, Audrey and Jude”
By Gail Sprong
The names Audrey and Jude Cull may not be familiar to all who read this, but to the former members of the Skating Club of Boulevard in Bayonne, N.J., they were giants in their field, beloved by us all. Sadly, both Jude and Audrey have passed away – Jude in June of 2005 and Audrey in November of 2006, a mere 17 months apart.
Jude was born and raised in Irvington, N.J., beginning his skating career in the early 1940’s at the Olympic Park rink, now long gone. He excelled in virtually every event offered back then: singles, mixed pairs, men’s pairs, fours, and even racing. All told, Jude garnered over a hundred medals and trophies during his amateur career. He was remarkable in his achievements: four times (’47, ’48, ’49, and ’51) National gold medalist with pairs partner Charlotte Ludwig, and a gold medal in Senior Men’s Singles in the 1951 Nationals.
Audrey Mallette Cull was born and raised in Bergenfield, N.J., beginning her career at that town’s Rainbow Rink in the mid l940’s. By the time she and Jude met, they were both accomplished skaters in their respective fields. Audrey excelled in singles and dance and in 1950 was a state gold medalist in Junior Ladies’ singles, while she and partner Harold Hunt took the gold in Senior Dance in States and a bronze in Nationals that year. After Audrey and Jude became “an item” she began to coach Jude in dance and they went on to take a bronze medal in Senior Dance at Nationals the following year,
After marrying in the spring of 1952, they turned pro and got their first teaching assignment in Michigan. They soon yearned to return to New Jersey. That year Billy Reed, the teaching pro at Boulevard Arena, had been drafted into the Army, leaving a vacant spot. The USARSA reassigned the Culls and they arrived at Boulevard in October of 1952. Thus began their long teaching career, during which they produced many state and national champions.
Audrey retired from skating in 1958 to await the birth of their first daughter. Two more daughters arrived over the next few years. Jude continued to teach at Boulevard, eventually retiring in 1963. The years in between were wonderful for those of us who were privileged to be members of the Skating Club of Boulevard during that time, and we will mourn their passing for a long time to come.
Farewell, dear friends Audrey and Jude. You will never be forgotten.