SIKESTON - Leon Robinson Culp, 83, died Oct. 21, 2007, at his home.
Born Nov. 5, 1923, in Leachville, Ark., he was the son of the late William and Mattie Culp. A member of the River of Life Worship Center, he had been employed by the Sikeston Department of Public Safety before retiring in 1988, having served the citizens of Sikeston for more than 27 years. Over those years, he served in every capacity from dispatcher to chief of police.
He was a decorated Petty Officer in the Navy and served in the Pacific during World War II, during which time he was the recipient of the Purple Heart. He was a member of American Legion Post No. 114.
On May 11, 1968, he married Helen Litchford, who survives of the home.
Other survivors include: two sons and daughters-in-law, Larry and Bonita Culp of Cleburne, Texas and Bill and Saralyn Culp of Sikeston; one daughter and son-in-law, Patty and Jim Herrolle of Fair Oaks, Ind.; one stepdaughter, Lorraine Taber of Dexter; 13 grandchildren, including Cindi Hileman, his primary caregiver; 16 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Considered the beloved family "patriarch," his presence will be sorely missed by dozens of nieces, nephews and their extended families at the annual Culp Family Reunion held in Sikeston every year.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, one sister, one stepson, one grandson and two great-great-grandsons.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Ponder Funeral Home in Sikeston, where services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday. The Rev. Greg Forrester will officiate.
Burial with full military honors will follow at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield.
Pallbearers will be uniformed officers of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.
Honorary pallbearers will be: Arthur Bruce, Gerald Howard, and his grandsons Marc Culp, PFC John (Brian) Culp, Chad Taber, Michael Hafner and Erik Hafner.
Memorial contributions may be made to:
the American Cancer Society 4207 Lindell Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108