Tomie Franklin Culpepper1,2

Male, #51379, (9 Dec 1919 - 15 Nov 1999)
Father*James Monroe Culpepper3 (23 Jun 1901 - 14 Nov 1923)
Mother*Anna Pearl Singleton3 (19 Apr 1901 - 9 Oct 1927)
Birth*9 Dec 1919 He was born on 9 Dec 1919 at Pike Co., Alabama.1,2 
Death of Father14 Nov 1923 His father James Monroe Culpepper died on 14 Nov 1923 at Montgomery Co., Alabama.4,5 
Death of Mother9 Oct 1927 His mother Anna Pearl Singleton died on 9 Oct 1927.4 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Tomie was listed as a nephew in John T. Moland Singleton's household on the 1930 Census at Josie, Pike Co., Alabama.6 
SSN*between 1936 and 1950 His Social Security Number was issued between 1936 and 1950 in Georgia.1 
World War II*between 1940 and 1945 He served in World War II between 1940 and 1945
(US Army.)7,8 
Marriage*say 1950 He married Melba Locklar say 1950.2 
Residence Melba and Tomie resided at Union Springs, Bullock Co., Alabama.9 
Death*15 Nov 1999 He died at Union Springs, Bullock Co., Alabama, on 15 Nov 1999 at age 79.1,2 
Burial*circa 17 Nov 1999 His body was interred circa 17 Nov 1999 at Ramah Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Josie, Pike Co., Alabama.2 
Obituary* Tomie Culpepper, World War II Veteran
(703 S. Prairie Street, Union Springs, Alabama)
     With the American flag draped over his casket and Kent Renfroe singing "God Bless the U.S.A." the memorial service for Tomie Culpepper emphasized the fact that he was a patriotic man, keeping his priorities on family, friends and country. His memorial service was held at Ramah Baptist Church on Thursday, November 18, 1999, with interment in the church cemetery. At the conclusion of the graveside service, the flag was carefully folded into a snug triangle and presented to his widow, Melba Locklar. A florist placed a stand holding a wreath made of red, white and blue flowers near the casket.
     His own son, Barry Culpepper, spoke the tribute to his life as two preachers mainly read scriptures and offered prayers. Several ladies were heard to remark that they wanted to applaud after Barry spoke about the life of his father, and again after Kent sang. But people don't applaud at funerals.
     Barry said that since they could no longer have fellowship with Tomie, they would be strengthened by remembering.
     He said Tomie was born in 1914 (sic). His father died at age 4. His mother died at age 8. He became a person who did not know the meaning of quitting or of failure. He became known for being a workhorse, honest, unselfish, and patriotic.
     At age 20, he joined the Army and had a chance to travel abroad and to see the world. Because World War II came along, his tour of duty was extended. Tomie would often talk about these wartime experiences.
     All through the years he traveled to reunions in Virginia with his Army buddies. And when the Union Springs-Bullock County Tourism Council began to have the Veterans Day programs downtown Union Springs, in front of the Courthouse, he would be present.
     The last one he attended was just the week before his funeral, when he stood tall and proudly called out his name for the roll call of veterans. And ironically, his son Barry who was operating the sound system as he has done for several years, sang the song, "God Bless the U.S.A.," the same song sang at his funeral.
     Barry said there was no American more patriotic than his Dad.
     After the war, Tomie met Melba Locklar. They married and her parents, Bert and Agne Locklar, became his parents too, of­fering him the same unconditional love that they gave Melba. Always with limited financial resources and the ability to repair anything mechanical, he started his own family.
     Their first child was an 8-pound daughter they named Patricia. Three years later their son Barry was born. Tomie was a rock to his children, offering love, spankings and support. Barry said his father delivered groceries and was known for helping others, like thawing out pipes for a friend during a holiday time. He had very little formal education but Barry remembers that he read encyclopedias to educate himself.
     In 1970 Barry married Diane Santee of Ohio and his parents accepted her as one of their own. So Tomie became a grandfather at age 53, and was ecstatic about this new creature, "Vince". Six years later he was delighted when another grandson, "Todd", was born.
     Tomie had coached his son, Barry, in ball games, because he loved Barry, kids and had a desire to help. Barry's Dad reminded him of Jesus talking with children and being a servant on earth.
     Then for 22 years he would watch his grandsons play basketball, baseball and football. In 1996 he traveled to Virginia to see a grandson Todd play in the Dixie Pre-Major World series where his team won it all. He traveled to Texas in 1997 and to South Carolina in 1998 to be a fan for his grandson in these competitions.
     He could easily talk with strangers. He loved homemade biscuits, the Auburn football team and the Atlanta Braves baseball team. He loved to fish.
     He taught his grandsons to look at flowers and how to fish. Among the grandsons' memories was the time a fish jumped into the boat at night and no one knew what it was, and the time Tomie had an agreement with a snake which stayed in one end of the boat and Tomie in the other end.
     One grandson remembered when as a child he was wearing shorts and his grandfather Tomie carried him 400-500 yards across a briar patch so his legs would not be scratched. Barry said the greatest legacy of Tomie's life was the life he led, for who he was and not for what he had.7 


Melba Locklar (16 Dec 1930 - 8 Jul 2007)
Marriage*say 1950 He married Melba Locklar say 1950.2 
ChartsJoseph Culpepper of Morgan Co., GA: Descendant Chart
Last Edited3 Feb 2013


  1. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at
  2. Tombstone Photographs, Ramah Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Josie, Pike Co., AL; by Sherry Whitmore (e-mail address) and Hillary Avila (e-mail address).
    Tomie Franklin Culpepper, Dec. 9, 1919 - Nov. 15, 1999
    Melba Locklar Culpepper, Dec. 16, 1930 - _______.
  3. E-mail written 2005-2012 to Warren Culpepper from Barry James Culpepper (#52339), e-mail address (May 2011).
  4. Tombstone Photographs, Ramah Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Josie, Pike Co., AL; by Sherry Whitmore (e-mail address) and Hillary Avila (e-mail address).
    James Monroe Culpepper, June 23, 1901 - Nov. 14, 1923
    Anna Pearl Singleton Culpepper Williams, April 19, 1901 - Oct. 9, 1927
    Willie Pearl Williams, Oct. 9, 1927 - Feb. 12, 1939.
  5. State of Alabama Center for Health Statistics / Record Services Division, compiler, Alabama Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974, Online database at, 2011.
    James Culpepper died Nov 1923 in Montgomery Co., Alabama.
  6. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 24, Page 231A, Lines 29-35, Josie, Pike Co., AL
    Rents Home, Radio=N, Farm=N, Vet=N
    Moland Singleton, Head, M, Wh, 42, md@19, AL/AL/AL, Log Cutter/Saw Mill
    Lonie Singleton, Wife, M, Wh, 39, md@13, AL/AL/AL
    Harry Singleton, Son, M, Wh, 23, wid (md@19), AL/AL/AL
    Hubert Singleton, Son, M, Wh, 17, sng, AL/AL/AL
    Julia Singleton, Mother, M, Wh, 84, wid (md@21), AL/AL/AL
    Colon Singleton, Son, M, Wh, 15, sng, AL/AL/AL
    Tomie Culpepper, Nephew, M, Wh, 10, sng, AL/AL/AL.
  7. Article by Faye Gaston, The Heritage of Bullock County, Alabama, Heritage Pub. Consultants, 200?, Clanton, Alabama, FHL CAN/US Book 976.1483 H2b.
  8. National Archives and Records Administration, compiler, U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Online database at, 2005.
    Tomie F. Culpepper, born 1919, White, Native of Alabama; Resided in Russell Co., Alabama; Enlisted on 6 Sep 1940 in Georgia at Fort Benning in the US Army Quartermaster Corps as a Private for the Philippine Department; Education: Grammar school; Civil Occupation: Driver; Marital Status: Single, without dependents; Height: 68; Weight: 130.
  9. Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus (Muscogee Co.), GA.
    Obituary of Melba Locklar Culpepper (#51392), published 10 Jul 2007.