Kenneth Michael Culpepper1

Male, #28334, (25 Oct 1943 - 12 Oct 2011)
Father*Herbert Freeman Culpepper2 (16 Jan 1923 - Oct 1986)
Mother*Pauline LaJean Simms2 (14 Jan 1920 - 19 Feb 2000)
Nickname  Kenneth Michael Culpepper also went by the name of Mike. 
Birth*25 Oct 1943 Kenneth was born at Dallas Co., Texas, on 25 Oct 1943.2 
Death of FatherOct 1986 His father Herbert Freeman Culpepper died in Oct 1986 at Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.3,4 
News Article15 Dec 1990 Officer has special reason for playing Santa

Fort Worth, TX -- The uniform hanging on the back of Deputy Police Chief Mike Culpepper 's office door is strictly regulation: plush crimson velour trimmed with snowy fake fur, lifelike salt-and-pepper beard and pointy stocking cap tipped with a pompon.
     When Chief Culpepper was asked in 1988 to find a Police Department Santa -- a duty frequently delegated to a basso-voiced rookie with a stout build -- he volunteered himself for the assignment.
     "I didn't want to delegate it,' said Chief Culpepper, who on Wednesday launched a hectic round of holiday appearances that will include hospital visits, deliveries of toys in low-income neighborhoods and meals on Christmas Eve.
     "It's really too much fun.'
     Take, for example, Chief Culpepper 's visit Thursday to the South Side Multipurpose Center. Nearly 500 children and their parents filed through to receive a hug and a gift from Santa Claus.
     Many grabbed and hugged the jolly figure. Others could only stare in open-mouthed astonishment.
     Kandra Thompson, 2, took one look at Santa Claus and screamed.
     "She's scared of that beard,' said her mother, Carla Fikes. "She's never seen Santa Claus before.'
     Other children were unabashed in their gratitude.
     "This is from Santa for me,' said Carlos Brown, 7, with shy pride as he clutched a shiny, new toy police car to his chest.
     Santa Claus hugged some parents as well as their children, wishing them a Merry Christmas as he handed out toys.
     "Santa's going home now,' Chief Culpepper boomed as he laughingly pretended to run away with a tiny newborn dressed in a lavender jumpsuit. "Santa wants to keep this one.'
     Since Chief Culpepper began playing Santa in 1988, the program has grown to include hundreds of youngsters who sign up for neighborhood "Santa parties,' some featuring Santa's arrival in the department's helicopter or flanked by a satisfyingly noisy police motorcycle escort.
     Behind the fun and excitement, however, is Chief Culpepper 's personal determination to bring cheer to children who are too sick or whose families are too poor for a lavish celebration.
     The chief says his appearances as Santa Claus are, in part, a memorial to his daughter, Pamela, who spent countless holidays in hospital wards. She was born with spina bifida, a congenital birth defect, and she underwent 29 operations before she died at age 18 nearly three years ago.
     "Each Christmas she was there (in Dallas hospitals), I remember the Dallas and Irving police departments doing something for the children,' Chief Culpepper said. As a result, he said, he concentrated during his first year as Santa on Cook-Fort Worth Children's Hospital.
     Chief Culpepper, who heads the Fort Worth police bureau that conducts all criminal investigations, has taken to greeting callers with a stentorian "Ho, ho, ho!' to practice for his appearances.
     But his voice dropped almost to a whisper as he described the selflessness and perseverance of his daughter.
     "She never complained.... she was a very special person,' he said, pointing to photos showing Pamela in 1974 as the Tarrant County United Way's poster child and later as a bright-eyed teen-ager.
     Chief Culpepper 's longtime colleagues, who say they were impressed through the years by Pamela's quiet determination, describe the chief's Santa Claus efforts as an appropriate tribute.
     "I salute him for anything he does that might keep the memory of Pam Culpepper alive,' said Mansfield Police Chief Coy Martin, former deputy chief of the Fort Worth department. "Everyone in the Police Department was aware of that young lady.'
     In the past two years, an increase in the number of sponsors -- including a local bank that collects toys and business groups that pay for food baskets and meals -- has enabled Chief Culpepper to play Santa not only for low-income children but for their families as well.
     By Christmas Day, Chief Culpepper expects to hand out 2,800 new toys and deliver 125 meals. His list of holiday stops includes city-operated neighborhood centers, hospitals, housing projects and homes recommended by police community relations officers.
     "I'm doing this in part for my daughter, but also because there's a lot of needy children out there who wouldn't otherwise have a Christmas,' he said.
     "It's a very humbling experience to see these children who have so many problems and to see them look past those problems to enjoy what they do have,' he said. "I think that's what Christmas is all about.5
News Article*1 Feb 1999 Mike Culpepper and motorcycle group raising money for brain tumor research in a ride for others' lives

Mike Culpepper will ride to North Carolina for an annual pilgrimage, hoping to do for some children what 32 surgeries could not do for his daughter - save their lives.
     Culpepper 's daughter, Pam, was born with a tumor on her spinal cord. She lived for 18 years, working against her pain and paralysis, until her death in 1988.
     "She was a special person," said Culpepper, 55. "She was very active and very loving. She really didn't let her condition bother her."
     He is now trying to save the lives of children with similar diseases.
     Culpepper, a member of the Mid-Cities Cruisers motorcycle club, is trying to raise $20,000 by this summer, when he will travel to North Carolina to participate in the June 26 Ride for Kids, a fund-raiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The North Carolina ride is one of 18 rides the foundation holds across the country annually.
     "If we do well in our collection, I think they're going to give us a ride in Tarrant County, and that's a pretty big deal," said Culpepper, a retired Fort Worth deputy police chief. "We want to bring it here because if we bring it here, we can help that many more children."
     Former marketing executive Mike Traynor created the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in Atlanta after watching a colleague's 5-month-old daughter suffer with a brain tumor. Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death in children, Traynor said.
     "I was blown away," Traynor said. "This child had just been born. We need to do something. We prayed in my office that day. It was the only thing we knew how to do."
     Because Traynor is an avid motorcycle rider, he and his wife, Dianne, decided to plan a ride to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research. That 1984 ride in Atlanta raised $4,000. The 18 rides the group had last year raised $1.6 million, which will be distributed to researchers and doctors across the country.
     It may take a few years for Fort Worth to get a ride, said Allen Hughes, national Ride for Kids manager.
     The foundation wants to establish a ride in Florida and a few other states that don't have one before they put one in North Texas. There is already an annual ride in Houston.
     "We get a lot of requests from people who would like us to come to their town," Hughes said. "Obviously, the logistics have to be just right to add events. We were having a real struggle in keeping control of those events."
     Culpepper has raised $4,000 during the past three weeks from residents and businesses in north Fort Worth and Northeast Tarrant County. Most of the donations were $25. Culpepper will donate the money he collects to the foundation, he said.
     At that rate, it may be hard to come up with $20,000 by June 26, he said.
     "We're going to have to get some to contribute more," Culpepper said. "I'm running out of friends."
     But Culpepper said Pam's memory makes him willing to put all his time and effort into raising money for the cause.
     "In a way, by helping those kids the memory of my daughter goes on," he said. "She rides with me. She really does."6 
Death of Mother19 Feb 2000 His mother Pauline LaJean Simms died on 19 Feb 2000 at Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., Texas.7 
Death*12 Oct 2011 He died on 12 Oct 2011 at age 67. 

Family

Deanna Kay Yarbrough
Children
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited13 Oct 2011

Citations

  1. Kenneth Michael Culpepper.
    Mike Culpepper
  2. Texas Department of State Health Services, compiler, Texas Birth Index, 1903 - 1997, Online database at Ancestry.com, 2005.
    http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=8781&ti=0
    Kenneth Micheal Culpepper, Male, born __ 1943 in Dallas Co., Texas, child of Herbert Freeman Culpepper and Pauline Lajean Sims.
  3. E-mail written 2002 to Lew Griffin from Herbert Wayne Culpepper.
  4. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at Ancestry.com.
    http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/vital/ssdi/main.htm
  5. Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas.
    http://www.dallasnews.com
    By Jacquielynn Floyd, 15 Dec 1990, Page 33A.
  6. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX.
    http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/
    By Jennifer Radcliffe, 1 Feb 1999, Northest AM, Page 1.
  7. From her obituary.
  8. From newspaper article in father's biography.
  9. Texas Department of State Health Services, compiler, Texas Birth Index, 1903 - 1997, Online database at Ancestry.com, 2005.
    http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=8781&ti=0
    Lisa Renea Culpepper, Female, born __ 1972 in Tarrant Co., Texas, child of Kenneth Michael Culpepper and Deanna Kay Yarbrough.