Obituary: Rufus Horace “R.H.” Culpepper


A private graveside service for Rufus Horace “R.H.” Culpepper was held Tuesday January 8, 2019 at Cullman City Cemetery. He was born on September 23, 1922 in Cullman and died on January 6, 2019.

Mr. Culpepper served in the First Marine Division, known as the “Old Breed,” in World War II; he made five combat landings as a member of the Old Breed, most notably the landing at Peleliu Island. He is believed to be the last man standing from his historic unit prior to his death. After the war, using the GI Bill, he attended St. Bernard College and graduated from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University). During college and after, Mr. Culpepper was buying and selling cars. He officially opened his used car business in 1947 and sold his last vehicle in 2018. Along with his partner Charlie Glover, he operated Culpepper Motors, a Chrysler/ Plymouth dealership. After selling the car dealership, Mr. Culpepper started Culpepper Real Estate, Culpepper Auto Sales, and Culpepper Trailer Sales. Along with his partner Clyde White, he owned Builders and Traders, a real estate development company. He was a businessman and deal maker all of his life.

Mr. Culpepper was a member of First Baptist Church, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion. He was the Chairman of the City of Cullman Board of Education, the Alabama State Dairy Board, and the Cullman County Democratic Party.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Perry Culpepper and Nettie Hyatt Culpepper, His brother, Thomas Perry Culpepper, Jr. and his sisters, Marguerite Culpepper Davis, Alice Culpepper Werner, and Nell Culpepper Baker.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Rachel Louise Culpepper, his five children, Karen Culpepper Foltz, Joe Culpepper, Kenny (Diane) Culpepper, Neal (Ann) Culpepper and Tim (Tricia) Culpepper and his sister Hannah Culpepper Brock. He is also survived by thirteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation to the charity of your choice or to the Auburn University School of Agriculture.

Cullman Heritage Funeral Home directed.