Alice Mae Culp, age 96, of West Fork went to be with the Lord in her eternal home on Sunday, July 1, 2012. She died peacefully at her serene country home following a battle with cancer. Born November 17, 1915, in Ashley, Ohio, Alice was the daughter of Clyde and Beth Cole.
She was a member of Mount Comfort Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, a historic little white church reminiscent of her childhood church in Ohio. A devout Christian, Alice loved reading her Bible, worship services, and participating in church events. An avid reader, she read several books weekly and enjoyed swapping books with others in her family.
Alice was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Chester Harold (Chet) Culp; sisters Pauline Seese and Frances Travis; brothers Marion Cole and Wilson Cole; and grandson Matthew (Matt) Bules. She is survived by sister Imogene James and husband Robert of Anderson, IN; sister-in-law Ruth Cole of Delaware, OH; daughter Billie Bules and husband David of Fayetteville; sons Gary Culp and wife Susan of West Fork, and Larry Culp and wife Yvonne of Lone Tree, CO; grandchildren Deborah Parker of Amarillo, TX, Rodney Culp of Southlake, TX, Kristine Fegley of Keller, TX, Meredith Harris of Vero Beach, FL, Alissa Bahn of Anthem, AZ, and Mackinley Cross of Milton, FL; and sixteen great-grandchildren.
Alice did many interesting things during her long and rich life after graduating as salutatorian of her high school class. She attended business college and become a secretary before marrying her childhood sweetheart and distant cousin, Chet Culp, on January 18, 1936. He was then a U.S. Army infantryman, later transferring to the Army Air Corps, and eventually retiring as an Air Force major in 1955. They lived in many states during and after his military career, traveled extensively within Alaska and several foreign countries, and lived in the mountains of Mexico where Chet was chief engineer for a mine. While there, Alice taught the natives English in exchange for them teaching Chet and herself Spanish.
After Chet was medically retired from the Air Force, they moved to West Fork with their three children to live on a farm at the edge of town. Alice became a community volunteer and leader, serving as President of the Parent Teacher Association and Worthy Matron of the West Fork Eastern Star. She was also one of the enthusiastic “mom cheerleaders” rooting on their first high school football team. She and Chet moved from Arkansas to Colorado in 1960, and eventually on to Tucson, Arizona. Both enjoyed living in the area, with part of the fun being bit actors in many Western movies filmed at nearby Old Tucson Studios. They also led the well-known Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, and traveled to Central and South America in search of precious potential gems.
Alice and Chet, along with their son Larry, later bought a large pistachio orchard in Cochise, Arizona, “retiring” again after several hard-working years there. At age 55, Alice fulfilled a personal dream by becoming a nursing student, graduating first in her class as a licensed practical nurse. She worked until well into her seventies doing hospital and private duty nursing, loving the time spent as caregiver to the seriously and terminally ill. Alice had a big heart and infectious smile, loved serving people, and was the beloved matriarch of her large extended family.
She moved from Tucson to Fayetteville in 2008, making her home with daughter Billie and son-in-law Dave, for the next 1 ½ years. In January 2010, she moved back to West Fork to live with son Gary and his wife Susan. They feel deeply blessed to have spent “Mom’s” final 2 ½ years with her, including being her principal caregivers as she battled cancer.
Alice’s wish was to be cremated, and her family and friends will celebrate her life in a Memorial Service at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church, 3816 W. Mt. Comfort Road, on Saturday, July 14 at 1:00 p.m. It will be an informal, come-as-you-are event officiated by Rev. Randi Henderson.
Her family is extremely grateful for the highly professional care provided Alice by the superb Circle of Life Hospice Team. Alice felt blessed to have them attending her. They also appreciate greatly the warm and wonderful pastoral care provided by Rev. Randi Henderson and Chaplain Kim Ross.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church, 3816 W. Mt. Comfort Rd., Fayetteville, AR 72704, for the Culp Family Endowment Fund. It was started with Alice’s living gift, given before she passed on, to express love for her special little church on the hill.
July 14, 2012, 1:00 p.m.
Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church
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