James O. Culpepper of Idaho Falls1,2

Male, #61154, (26 Mar 1943 - 13 Oct 2014)
Birth*26 Mar 1943 He was born on 26 Mar 1943 at Jackson, Hinds Co., Mississippi.3,4 
Death*13 Oct 2014 He died at Hamilton, Ravalli Co., Montana, on 13 Oct 2014 at age 71.4 
Obituary*say 14 Oct 2014 James “Jim” Culpepper passed away on Monday, October 13, 2014 in Hamilton, Montana. There will be a viewing on Thursday, October 16, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Jones & Casey Funeral Home of Salmon, Idaho. Burial will be in the Idaho Veterans Cemetery with Military Honors on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in Boise, Idaho. www.jonesandcaseyfh.com

He was born on March 26, 1943 in Jackson, Mississippi. He was raised by his mother Ruth Foster until the age of three, then with an aunt in Michigan until the age of seven. Jim was sent to live with his grandparents Bill and Gertrude in Talketna, Alaska. At the age of twelve, Jim learned to fly Bush planes and was flying mail and supplies. He received his pilot’s license at the age of sixteen.

Jim joined the Navy at age seventeen and served for four years, 1960 – 1964. He spent two years in Viet Nam as an Intelligence Advisor. Following his military service, Jim went to college and earned his Engineering degree. He spent the next twenty years designing and building bridges in Africa. He met the love of his life there, Tessy Wazaio (Lady Sun). They spent many months traveling and experiencing the sights of Africa and Europe together.

He worked in Africa for six more years then returned to the states. He lived in Los Angeles for a while, and then moved to Idaho Falls to escape the crowds.

In 1989, Jim suffered a stroke and lost his life’s savings and most of his possessions. He returned to school to earn a Master’s Degree in Sociology. He relocated to Salmon where he worked under Darlene Golas. He joined a group of fellow Combat Veterans to help himself deal with his PTSD. Jim died a premature death due to cigarette smoking.4 


Peggy L. (?)
Last Edited23 Oct 2014


  1. From QRZ.com: Amateur Radio License KB7SRE James O. Culpepper, Idaho Falls, ID.
  2. The ancestry of this person is unknown. If you can help in identification of the parents or other relatives, please contact Warren Culpepper, using the link at the bottom of this page.
  3. MyFamily.com Inc., compiler, US Public Records Index, Online database at Ancestry.com, 2005.
  4. Obituary from Jones & Casey Funeral Home.