Chamber honors Earl Tull

By Ronald MacArthur

Earl B. Tull was honored on May 27 as the 20th member of an elite group of community activists. Tull, with family and friends looking on, was presented with the 2004 John A. Jr. and Helen M. Moore Community Service Award for his volunteer work in the community. The presentation was made during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce at the Nanticoke Yacht Club. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner was the guest speaker. It’s unique in that he joins his wife Betty Tull (1991) as the second husband-wife team to win the award and the first duo to win the award in separate years. The presentation was made on behalf of the Moore family by Boyd Mitchell, a son-in-law in the family. In his usual quiet demeanor, Tull had very little to say as he accepted the award. “I knew something was up when I saw my three daughters here for a chamber meeting,” he said with a smile. He thanked his wife for her support. “It’s really been a partnership with my wife,” he said. “We have always tried to support one another in whatever we have been doing. “There are really so many people in this room who could have received this award tonight,” he added. Tull is a Seaford native who graduated from Seaford High School in 1945 and from the University of Delaware in 1951. After graduation, he returned to Seaford and worked in the family business, Tull Brothers, and eventually became president. Over the years, he transformed the business from farm machinery adding hardware, gifts, and a garden shop divisions.
Most recently, Tull has been active in the Seaford Historical Society, serving as president since 2000. Along with David Webb (another Moore winner) he co-founded the Seaford Museum and helped to open the new location at the former post office in downtown Seaford. He has been active in many community activities and events throughout his life. Many of those activities have centered around Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, including lifetime membership, a member of chairman of most of the church boards, 13 years as co-counselor with his wife of the Junior High Methodist Youth Fellowship, serving on conference committees, as chairman of the Cornerstone Committee , and as a trustee on the board at the Wesley Theological Seminary. The chamber honored Tull as Business Person of the Year in 1998. Tull has served meals at the Seaford Mission for the past two years, is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Seaford, has been a member of the Seaford Historical Society since 1987 and served as treasurer and vice president before taking over the president’s position. He has been married to Betty Boyce since 1953 and they have three daughters, Cathy Liverman, Karen Johnston, and Carol Moran. They have eight grandchildren including Drew, Lauren and Ryan Liverman, Katie, Kyle and Cotter Johnston, and Sarah and Dylan Moran. Previous award winners include Tina Fallon, Ronald Breeding, William B. Cooper and Donald Tull, Van Leer Stephany, Betty J. Tull, Richard Drummond, W. Wright Robinson, Virginia and Ed Short, Sue Wile, Ronald MacArthur, John Hollis, John Burton, George Sapna, Linda Johnston, Larry Manlove, Norman Poole and David Webb, Jr.

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