Thomas Ben Culpepper1

Male, #10183, (7 Dec 1917 - 7 Dec 2016)
Father*Joe Ben Culpepper (7 Mar 1880 - 3 Mar 1967)
Mother*Bertha Jane Evans (27 Mar 1881 - 12 Aug 1958)
Birth*7 Dec 1917 Thomas was born at Murray, Calloway Co., Kentucky, on 7 Dec 1917. 
1920 Census1 Jan 1920 Harty, Tipton and Thomas was listed as a son in Joe Ben Culpepper's household on the 1920 Census at Concord, Calloway Co., Kentucky.2 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Tipton, Thomas and Norman was listed as a son in Joe Ben Culpepper's household on the 1930 Census at Concord, Calloway Co., Kentucky.3 
ResidenceJul 1942 Thomas resided at Kentucky in Jul 1942.4 
World War II*between 1942 and 1945 He enlisted in Evansville, Vanderburgh Co., Indiana, and served in World War II between 1942 and 1945
(US Army.)4 
Marriage*27 Jun 1946 He married Janet Margaret Petersen at Arnegard, McKenzie Co., North Dakota, on 27 Jun 1946 at age 28. 
Death of Mother12 Aug 1958 His mother Bertha Jane Evans died on 12 Aug 1958 at Murray, Calloway Co., Kentucky.5 
Death of Father3 Mar 1967 His father Joe Ben Culpepper died on 3 Mar 1967 at Kirksey, Calloway Co., Kentucky.6,7 
Death of Spouse29 Sep 2005 His wife Janet Margaret Petersen died on 29 Sep 2005 at Williston, Williams Co., North Dakota.6 
Residence*2008 Thomas resided at Williston, Williams Co., North Dakota, in 2008.8 
Death*7 Dec 2016 He died at West Des Moines, Polk Co., Iowa, on 7 Dec 2016 at age 99. 
Obituary*10 Dec 2016 Tom entered the arms of his loving Savior on his 99th birthday, December 7, 2016, with his four daughters at his side. He was born in Calloway County, Kentucky, the fourth of five children of Joe Ben Culpepper and Bertha Jane (Evans) Culpepper. Growing up he worked on the family's farm using horse drawn equipment, planting and harvesting tobacco and corn fields by hand, and learning practical carpentry and people skills that would serve him well for a lifetime.

Following high school, Tom and his younger brother, Norman, started a grocery delivery business using a Model A to deliver groceries and other supplies to other farmers who were unable to go into town to shop. Tom entered the Army after World War II began and was sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for training. During his training he became seriously ill and had extensive abdominal surgery. Unable to return to combat training, Tom was assigned to run the post golf course where he met his wife to be, Janet Petersen, a dietetics intern from Arnegard, North Dakota. They married on June 27, 1946. Tom and Janet spent the first year of their marriage in Detroit where Tom worked as a carpenter after a brief stint working in a car factory. Their first child, Cynthia, was born there. Tom, Janet and Cynthia then moved back to Murray, Kentucky, near where Tom grew up. Tom built a house for them, and he and Norman built a grocery store and owned a truck they used to haul coal from nearby mines to customers in the Murray area. In 1949, Tom and Janet's second daughter, Ginger, was born.

In 1952 Tom, Janet and girls moved to Williston, North Dakota when oil was discovered in the area. They found a couple of building lots and Tom started building houses in the booming oil town. Tom would build a house for his growing family, daughter Jenny was born in 1957 and Tami in 1960, and Janet would paint and decorate it. Then they would sell the house and move into the next one, often just partially completed. Over his 38 year building career Tom, aided by his faithful employee, Ozzie, and Janet as his painter and decorator built over 100 houses and was "the" builder of fine homes in Williston. His customers became his lifelong friends.

After retiring in 1980, Tom and Janet traveled the world, including many trips to their children's homes to work on "projects." They always left quickly when there was no more work to be done, a lesson in family harmony left to the next generation. A year after Janet's death in 2005, Tom moved to West Des Moines where he found many new friends and lived until his death. Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Janet, to whom he was married for 59 years.
Tom is survived by his four daughters, Cynthia (Rex) Rickly, Ginger (Terry) Monson, Jenny (Kirk) Hird, and Tami (Jim) Korb, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

The family gratefully acknowledges the loving care of many nurses and caretakers at Edgewater during Tom's final days. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Edgewater Scholarship Fund or West Des Moines Christian Church.9 


Janet Margaret Petersen (6 Jun 1921 - 29 Sep 2005)
Marriage*27 Jun 1946 He married Janet Margaret Petersen at Arnegard, McKenzie Co., North Dakota, on 27 Jun 1946 at age 28. 
ChartsBenjamin (son of Robert) Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC: Descendant Chart
Last Edited13 Jan 2017


  1. Elizabeth Ann 'Libby' Jenkins Stalter (Mrs. Royce Lynn Stalter) report, Elizabeth Ann 'Libby' Jenkins Stalter (Mrs. Royce Lynn Stalter) to Lew Griffin, 1999.
  2. 1920 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 33, Sheet 15A, Family 297, District 2, Concord, Calloway Co., KY
    Joe B. Culpepper, Head, M, 39, md, KY/TN/TN, Farmer
    Bertha Culpepper, Wife, F, 38, md, KY/KY/KY
    Ora Culpepper, Dau, F, 18, Sng, KY/KY/KY
    Hardy Culpepper, Son, M, 17, Sng, KY/KY/KY
    Tipton Culpepper, Son, M, 13, Sng, KY/KY/KY
    T. B. Culpepper, Son, M, 2 1/12, Sng, KY/KY/KY.
  3. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED8-5, Sheet 5-B, Line 94, Concord, Calloway Co., KY
    Home owned, Value not shown, Radio=blank, Farm=Yes
    J. B. Culpepper, Head, M, 50, M, md@21, KY/KY/KY, Farmer, Gen. Farming, Vet=No
    Bertha Culpepper, Wife, F, 49, M, md@20, KY/KY/KY, Not employed
    Lipa Culpepper, Son, M, 23, S, KY/KY/KY, Laborer, Farming
    F. B. Culpepper, Son, M, 12, KY/KY/KY
    Norman Culpepper, Son, M, 9, KY/KY/KY.
  4. National Archives and Records Administration, compiler, U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Online database at, 2005.
    Thomas B Culpepper, White, Single, born 1917 in Kentucky, residing in Kentucky, enlisted as a Private in the US Army on 28 Jul 1942 in Evansville, Indiana.
  5. Commonwealth of Kentucky / Health Data Branch, compiler, Kentucky Death Index, 1911-2000, Online database at
    Bertha J. Culpepper, 12 Aug 1958 at age 77, Calloway Co., KY, 58, 16765.
  6. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at
  7. Commonwealth of Kentucky / Health Data Branch, compiler, Kentucky Death Index, 1911-2000, Online database at
    Joe B. Culpepper, 03 Mar 1967 at age 86, Calloway Co., KY, 67, 04457.
  8. Inc., compiler, US Public Records Index, Online database at, 2005.
  9. Obituary of Thomas B. Culpepper, published in the Des Moines Register, from Dec. 10 to Dec. 11 2016.