Olive Lucille O'Dell

Female, #20605, (11 Oct 1911 - 19 Apr 1994)
Father*Wesley Harrison O'Dell (c 1887 - )
Mother*Minerva Johnson (c 1891 - )
Birth*11 Oct 1911 Olive was born at Dana, Kanawah Co., West Virginia, on 11 Oct 1911.1,2 
Employment* Olive's occupation: church worker. 
Marriage*30 Jun 1928 She married Rev. Charles Ross Culpepper on 30 Jun 1928 at age 16.1 
Married Name30 Jun 1928  As of 30 Jun 1928, her married name was Culpepper. 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Olive was listed as Rev. Charles Ross Culpepper's wife on the 1930 Census at Charleston, Kanawha Co., West Virginia.3 
Photographed*say 1960 She was photographed say 1960 at Charleston, Kanawha Co., West Virginia.4
Olive (O'Dell) Culpepper
SSN*1962 Her Social Security Number was issued in 1962 in West Virginia.2 
Biography*1966 The following is from p. 299 of "Who's Who in The Methodist Church" published by Abingdon Press in 1966:

CULPEPPER Olive O'Dell (Mrs. Charles Ross Culpepper), lay ch. worker; b. Dana, W.Va., Oct. 11, 1911; d. Wesley Harrison and Minevra [Minerva?] (Johnson) O'Dell; student W.Va. Wesleyan Coll. 1929-30, m. Charles Ross Culpepper, June 30 1928; 1 son, Marvin Wesley. Mem. Meth. Ch., 1913---; sec. children's work W.Va. Conf., 1950-54, mem. Bd. Christian Social Concerns 1961---, Bd. Missions, 1964---; sec. Christian social realtions Northeastern Jurisdiction, 1961-65. Mem. steering com. Kanawha County Human Relations Council, pres. Mountain Laurel council Girl Scouts U.S.A., 1962-65. Bd. dirs. Wesley Found., W.Va. State Coll., 1959--, Meth. Children's Home, Burlington, W.Va., 1954-59, trustee W.Va. Wesleyan Coll., 1955---. Mem. Am. Assn. for UN (past membership chmn. W.Va.) Address: 26 Monongalia St., Charleston, W.Va. 25302. 
Biographybetween 1970 and 1972 Olive was listed in "Who's Who of American Women" 1970 through 1972. The following is from p. 189 of the 7th ed. (1972-1973) of "Who's Who of American Women" published by Marquis Who's Who of Chicago, IL:

CULPEPPER, OLIVE O DELL (MRS. CHARLES ROSS CULPEPPER), civic workder; b. Dana W. Va., Oct. 11, 1911; d. Wesley Harrison and Minerva (Johnson) O'Dell; student Mason Sch. Music, 1921-29, W. Va. Wesleyan Coll., 1929-30, W. Va. Tech Inst., summer 1931; m. Charles Ross Culpepper, June 30, 1928; 1 son, Marvin Wesley. Charter mem. Woman's Soc. Christian Service, Charleston, W. Va., mem. Conf. Bd. Christian Social Concerns, 1960-__, sec. Children's Work, 1950-54; del. N.E. Jurisdiction Conf., alternate del. Gen. Conf., 1964; mem. Women's div. Meth. Ch. sect. Christian Social Relations, World Div., 1964-__, mem. bd. missions Meth. Ch., 1964-__, del. World Confs., 1951, 61; bd. dirs. Wesley Found. W. Va. State Coll; mem. women's planning com. Japan Internat. Christian U. Found., 1961-__; trustee W. Va. Wesleyan Coll., 1955-__, alumni award. 1967; counselor-at-large Union Protestant Hosp. Aux., Clarksburg, W. Va; v. p. Kanawba council Girl Scouts U.S.A., 1959-60, pres. Mountain Laurel council, 1961-64; mem. bd. W. Va. Council of the White House Conf. on Children and Youth, 1966; capt. women's com. United Fund Drive, Charleston, 1966-68; chmn. com. Women's Aux. Goodwill Industries. Mem. Am. Assn. for UN, Ch. Women United (chmn. God and Community award for Girl Scouts U.S.A. com.), W. Va. Assn. Mental Health. Mem. Order Eastern Star (Shriner). Home: 510 Kanawha Blvd W, Charleston, WV 25302.5 
Death*19 Apr 1994 She died at Charleston, Kanawha Co., West Virginia, on 19 Apr 1994 at age 82.2 
Obituary*20 Apr 1994 DEATHS OF NOTE
Culpepper, 82, dies after lifetime of volunteer work.
Olive O'Dell Culpepper, who worked tirelessly for children and youths, died Tuesday at Charleston Area Medical Center's General Division after a short illness. She was 82.

Culpepper, a native of Dana in Kanawha County, was the wife of the Rev. Ross Culpepper, a longtime United Methodist minister, and much of her civic involvement grew out of her church work. She served as secretary of children's work for the state's United Methodists and member of the board of its children's home in Burlington.

She gave much of her time to West Virginia Wesleyan College, which was her alma mater. Culpepper was elected trustee of the Buckhannon school in 1955 and served on the board until 1984. In 1967, she received the school's alumni award, and in 1972 she was awarded a honorary doctor of law degree. In 1982, Wesleyan honored Culpepper twice. She became the first woman ever inducted into the honorary fraternity Omicron Delta Kappa and was named "honorary international ambassador" by Wesleyan's international students.

Culpepper was also active with Girl Scouts. In 1958, she served as vice president of the Kanawha Council of Girl Scouts and served as president of the Mountain Laurel Girl Scout Council from 1961 to 1964 as it grew from five to 22 counties. She served from 1964 to 1972 on the General Board of Missions for the United Methodist Church. Culpepper also was active in a wide range of community civic affairs. They included an interfaith project to buy hospital machines to test babies' hearing, fund-raising to put a chapel at West Virginia Rehabilitation Center and work for the Kanawha County United Fund.

When Culpepper was in her early 50s, she and her husband started a new church, Lakeview United Methodist, in St. Albany after his official retirement from the United Methodist ministry. They started three choirs, a youth fellowship, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops during their six years there.

Also surviving is a son, Marvin W. Culpepper of Charleston; foster son, Dr. Tae Byung Whang of Penfield, N.Y; four grandchildren; four foster grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren. Service will be 11 a.m. Friday at Christ Church United Methodist with the Rev. Harry Jenkins and the Rev. Aldred Wallace officiating. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Park, South Charleston. Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Wilson Funeral Home, Charleston. The family suggests memorial contributions to Olive Culpepper Scholarship Fund, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, W.Va. 26201.6 


Rev. Charles Ross Culpepper (21 Oct 1905 - 30 Dec 1997)
Marriage*30 Jun 1928 She married Rev. Charles Ross Culpepper on 30 Jun 1928 at age 16.1 
Last Edited20 May 2012


  1. Who's Who in the Methodist Church-1966, Abingdon Press, 1966.
    p 299.
  2. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at Ancestry.com.
  3. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 49-4, Sheet #11-B, Line 60, 146 Barbour St., Buckhannon, Upshur Co., WV
    Rent=$20, Radio=Blank, Farm=Blank (15 Apr 1930)
    Ross* Culpepper, Head, M, Wh, 24, M, md@22, KY/LA/KY, Minister, Church, Vet=No
    Olive Culpepper, Wife, F, Wh, 18, M, md@16, WV/WV/WV, Not emp.
    Marvin Wesley Culpepper, Son, M, Wh, 4mos., WV/KY/WV.
  4. E-mail written Jan 2008 to Culpepper Connections from John Butler Culpepper (#28948), Altadena, CA, e-mail address (Oct 2011).
  5. Who's Who of American Women, 7th ed., 1972-1973, Chicago, Illinois: Marquis-Who's Who, 1972, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN 973 D36aw.
  6. Obituary published 20 Apr 1994 in the Charleston Daily Mail and provided by John William Culpepper.