Ralph Harold Culpepper Jr.1,2

Male, #3945, (14 Jul 1923 - 1 Nov 1988)
Father*Ralph Harold Culpepper (7 Jun 1899 - 29 Jul 1970)
Mother*Gladys Iva Rice (5 Jan 1902 - 9 Dec 1960)
Birth*14 Jul 1923 Ralph was born at Orange, Orange Co., Texas, on 14 Jul 1923.2 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Ralph, Willie and George was listed as a son in Ralph Harold Culpepper's household on the 1930 Census at Vinton, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.3 
World War II*between 1941 and 1947 He served in World War II between 1941 and 1947
(U S Navy WW II Standard Service Record of Ralph Harold Culpepper, Jr.:
Ship: Post Demob Sep Act, place of discharge NAS, Alameda, California, 10/25/1947.
Ralph Harold Culpepper, Jr., USN, enlisted Houston, Texas for six years 10/27/41-10/26/47.
Rating: Y1, Date of Birth 7/14/23. Orange, Texas. Honorable discharge.
Service schools completed: General Storekeeper School, Toledo, Ohio.
Medals Awarded: American Defense Medal, America Area, Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific, Philippine Liberation, Good conduct.
Chronological Record of Service:
Ship or Station Date Rating
RS Houston Texas 10/27/41 AS
NTS San Diego Calif 10/30-12/21/41 AS
USN Training School, Ohio 12/24/41-5/14/42 S2
Sea Bks NYD Charleston SC 5/16/42-7/22/44 S1, Y3,Y2
RS SO Annex Nob Norfolk, VA 7/23/44-7/31/44 Y2
RS CNY Navy Yard, SC 8/1-18/44 Y2
USS Baham (AG 71) 8/18/44-7/18/46 Y2, Y1
USS Liguria (AKS 15) 7/19-8/16/46 Y1
RS Pearl Harbor 8/24/46-2/14/47 Y1
Supply Center Pearl Harbor 2/14/47-9/11/47 Y1
PDSA NAS Alameda Calif 9/17-10/25/47 Y1.)1 
Photographed*1942 He was photographed in 1942.1
Ralph H. Culpepper
Ralph H. & mother Gladys (Rice) Culpepper
Death of Mother9 Dec 1960 His mother Gladys Iva Rice died on 9 Dec 1960 at Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas.4 
Death of Father29 Jul 1970 His father Ralph Harold Culpepper died on 29 Jul 1970 at Kilgore, Gregg Co., Texas.5,6 
Death*1 Nov 1988 He died at Paris, France, on 1 Nov 1988 at age 65. 
Biography* From Shirley Brook, 16 January 2004:

Ralph left the United States in 1948 to study art in France on the GI Bill of Rights. He never returned to live in United States. Only returning to visit twice before his death. He had tickets for his next visit when he died from a sudden heart attack. His two brothers Bill and Warren went to Paris, France where he was buried. I met Uncle Ralph when he came home that first time in the mid 1980's. He was a kind, gentle man. Excited to see his family after the long years of absence. Welcomed home by all. Ralph became an avid correspondent with the family over the next couple of years. I am proud to have had the chance to get to know him. We miss him still today.

Excerpt from one of his early letters:

Paris 14 August 1954
Dear Katherine and Bill:

"In Switzerland a neighbor bought two paintings, paying most in painting materials, frames, etc." "I did two theater set decorations-which was moderately paid."
"Just before Christmas a Gallery here in Paris who had a picture of mine, sold it to Gene Tierney"

"In Saint Tropey I met the wife of he German Automobile man, OPEL, who bought a small painting, one of my best. She hasn't yet paid me all of the money. I wanted a reserve for later this fall."

"Here in Paris at the small hotel I went to upon arriving, the lady who owned it showed my work to another guest who bought a tiny painting and then she bought two herself. (that I did especially for her, in return for room rent.) I spent a week to contact a collector who likes my work and he and his wife bought a picture for 50,000fr."
Signed: Love to all Ralph
There are many mentions of sales of paintings and drawings in the letter. He must have painted many paintings over the years. I do not know how he signed his work, but some of what I have seen here, from the early years was signed R. Culpepper, or Ralph Culpepper.
The following is correspondence we received upon his death:

Copied from Telecopy message to Michelle Roturier MPEAA/Paris from S. Frederick Gronich: Dated 11/14/1998 on the death and burial of Ralph Culpepper, Jr.
Please convey my sincerest regrets to Ralph Culpepper's brothers that I cannot be there on this sad occasion. I have worked with Ralph for 30 years and learned to respect his unusual humanity and consideration for others-frequently through personal sacrifice. He was very unique in many ways and I shall personally miss him.

Letter from Motion Picture Export Association of American, Inc. 67, Rue De Miromesnil, 75008 Paris*
43 59 64 86
29 Nov 1988 To: Mr. Willie Caton Culpepper, Mr. George Warren Culpepper, Mrs. Carey Louise Culpepper Manire:

"Needless to say, we were all very struck by Ralph's death. Although he lived a modest and informal life-style, those who knew him have always been aware of the fact that he was an intelligent, cultured and remarkably generous and self-sacrificing human being. Because of his gentleness and modesty, many of the museums and cultural institutions of Paris greatly respected his knowledge and personal contributions. You have every reason to remember and be proud of this side of his life and contributions. Kindest regards, S. Frederick Gronich"

From Motion Picture Export Association of America, Inc: The following is copy and translation of the articles from the newspaper:(Translation by Babel Vista on Alta Vista.com)

Samedi 12 - Dimanche 13 Novembre 1988
Sa famille d'Amerique tous les collaborateurs de La Motion Picture Export Association of America, ses amis ont la tristesse de vous faire part du deces subit de Ralph Culpepper

La ceremonie religieuse aura lieu en l'eglise americaine 65, quai d'Orsay, Paris (7)le mardi 15 novembre a 10 h 30, suivie de l'inhumation au cimetiere de Montmartre.

Saturday 12 - Sunday November 13, 1988
Its family of America all the collaborators of Motion Picture Export Association of America, his friends have sadness to announce sudden death to you of Ralph Culpepper. The religious ceremony will take place in the church americaine 65, quay of Orsay, Paris (7)le Tuesday November 15 has 10. 30, followed burial to the cemetery of Montmartre.

Vendredi 18 Novembre 1988 Sa famille d'Amerique et tous ses collaborateurs de la Motion Picture Export Association of American, tres sensibles aux marques de sympathie temoignees lors du deces de Ralph CULPEPPER addressent leurs remerciements a tous ceux qui se sont associes a leur peine

Friday November 18, 1988 Its family of America and all her collaborators of Motion Picture Export Association of American very sensitive to the expressions of sympathy temoignees at the time of the death of Ralph CULPEPPER address their thanks to all those which are associate has their sorrow.1
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Jones Co., GA: Descendant Chart
Last Edited19 Jul 2010


  1. E-mail written 1998-2007 to Lew Griffin and Warren Culpepper from Shirley Beth Culpepper Brook (#5957), e-mail address.
  2. Texas Department of State Health Services, compiler, Texas Birth Index, 1903 - 1997, Online database at Ancestry.com, 2005.
    Ralph Harold Culpepper Jr., born 14 Jul 1923 in Orange Co., Texas.
  3. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 10-26, Sheet #7, Line 61, Horridge St., Vinton, Calcasieu, LA
    Home rented, Amount=$15, Radio=blank, Farm=No
    Ralph H. Culpepper, Head, M, 29, M, md@22, MS/GA/GA, Oil Field Laborer, Vet=WW
    Gladys I. Culpepper, Wife, F, 28, M, md@20, TX/TX/TX, Not employed
    Ralph H. Culpepper, Son, M, 6, TX/MS/TX
    Willie C. Culpepper, Son, M, 4, TX/MS/TX
    Warren Culpepper, Son, M, 1, TX/MS/TX.
  4. Texas Department of Health, compiler, Texas Death Index, 1903-2000, Online database at Ancestry.com, 2006.
    Gladys Culpepper, died 9 Dec 1960 in Galveston Co., TX.
  5. Texas Department of Health, compiler, Texas Death Index, 1903-2000, Online database at Ancestry.com, 2006.
    Ralph H Culpepper, Male, Single, died 29 Jul 1970 in Gregg Co., TX.
  6. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at Ancestry.com.