OBITUARY: Curtis Culp

Curtis Culp

January 7,1936 ~ February 16, 2021

Curtis Culp left his Dunster home, where he had lived for 49 years, on Feb. 16. Curtis was born in Weiser, Idaho, on Jan. 7,1936. He lived on the family farm in Vale, Oregon, with his parents and five siblings until graduating from Vale Union High School in 1954. He joined the Army and served two years in Tokyo, Japan, as a military policeman. Curtis then moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he met and married Bonita Caywood and began his career as a state policeman in the Fish and Wildlife Division. They moved with their young family to Heppner, Oregon, where he received his degree in law enforcement from Blue Mountain Community College. After five years, he was promoted to detective in Ontario, Oregon.

One summer in 1972, on their annual visit to see Bonnie’s dad in Dunster, British Columbia, the Culp family decided to stay. Curtis was hired to build bridges on the new Highway 16 and became a journeyman carpenter, working on projects like the WAC Bennett Dam. He worked many years as a bridge man and snow plow driver for the Department of Highways.

As a passionate bird and animal conservationist, Curtis found ways to support the local wildlife. He thoroughly enjoyed walking the local creeks and rivers, counting salmon for the Federal Fisheries department but his greatest love was banding and feeding the Valley hummingbirds. His years of observing, protecting and feeding the tiny visitors culminated into a booklet which he finished last year.

Curtis was a fantastic story teller and writer of short stories about his life. His interest and research of the Culp family history led Curtis and his son Chris on a most memorable tour through the states where his grandfather had travelled during the Civil War. He was an active member of the Dunster community and one of the original scoopers at the ice cream social! Immensely generous, he and Bonnie opened their home to family, travelers and friends the world over.

He was fiercely determined when faced with a problem or challenge. His diagnosis of stage 4 lymphoma, going on five years ago, was proof of his grit. He never complained and made a point to bring a smile or positive word to anyone he met.

We thank everyone for the kind words about Curtis. He would really get a kick out of all the likes, comments and messages! Thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at the McBride Hospital and the BC Cancer Centre for all your special attention, time and care. We will plan to celebrate him and a life well lived this summer when we can all be together again. Please put an extra feeder out for Curtis’ hummingbirds this summer. They will miss him, too.

With grateful hearts, Bonnie and kids, Chris (Stacie), Kitty, Kerry (Dan), grandkids Max, Kia, Dylan, Sage, Ben, Peter, Emily and Christopher and great-grands, Addison, Elise and Amelia.