Thomas Rushing Culpepper, 96, died August 3, 2020 of complications from COVID-19 at Baptist Medical Center – Leake, in Carthage, Mississippi.
He was born at Shawmut, Alabama, April 27, 1924 to Ira Thomas Culpepper and Minnie Rushing Culpepper. He was a graduate of Auburn University with a B.S. in forestry. He retired from Scott Paper Company as a woods division manager.
In World War II he was a flight engineer on a B-24 bomber crew. His plane was shot down returning from their 17th bombing mission over Germany. He spent just over a year as a prisoner of war in Stalag XVII-B in Krems, Austria. After the war he earned a private pilot’s license, and flying remained a treasured pursuit.
Tom Culpepper was a man of deep Christian faith, kindness, and impeccable integrity. He served churches actively as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and member and leader of numerous boards and committees. He was perennially a layman-“pastor” to pastors of churches where he belonged.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Culpepper, and their children, Lt. Col. (ret) Mike Culpepper (Ulrike), Mary Leigh Ochoa (Rudy), Dr. Ed Culpepper (Sherron), Jeanie Westerfield, and Susan Triplett (Raymond), 8 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased in 1964 by his first wife, Frances Copeland Culpepper, and in later years by a brother and 2 sisters.
Visitation for Mr. Culpepper will be held from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, Friday, August 7, 2020,at Freeman Funeral Home, 1305 Skyland Drive, Waynesboro, MS. Graveside Services will be held at 2:00 PM Friday, August 7, 2020 at Mobile Memorial Gardens, 6100 Three Notch Road, Mobile, AL 36619. Freeman Funeral Home in Waynesboro, Mississippi, is handling arrangements.
Memorial donations in honor of Thomas R. Culpepper may be made to the Disabled American Veterans at https://www.dav.org/ or to First Baptist Church, Carthage in Carthage, MS.
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