Frederick Winston Culpepper Jr.1

Male, #878, (13 Mar 1925 - 18 Dec 2012)
Father*Frederick Winston Culpepper (20 Sep 1893 - 5 Apr 1978)
Mother*Lois Irene Woodward (24 Oct 1896 - Jun 1969)
Name Variation He was also known as Fred.1 
Birth*13 Mar 1925 Frederick was born at Portsmouth (city), Virginia, on 13 Mar 1925. 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Frederick was listed as a son in Frederick Winston Culpepper's household on the 1930 Census at Marshall Ward, Portsmouth (city), Virginia.2 
1940 Census1 Apr 1940 Frederick was listed as a son in Frederick Winston Culpepper's household on the 1940 Census at Washington Ward, Portsmouth (city), Virginia.3 
World War II*between 1943 and 1945 He served in World War II between 1943 and 1945
(US Navy.)4 
Death of MotherJun 1969 His mother Lois Irene Woodward died in Jun 1969 at Portsmouth (city), Virginia.5 
Death of Father5 Apr 1978 His father Frederick Winston Culpepper died on 5 Apr 1978 at Portsmouth (city), Virginia.5 
Biography*9 Apr 1992 Mr. Frederick W. Culpepper began his college education at the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary (now Old Dominion University) subsequently graduating with a B.S. in Industrial Arts Education in 1949 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Industrial Arts Education, and an M.S. in 1953 from New York State University at Oswego.

Before joining the faculty at Old Dominion University, Mr. Culpepper was an Industrial Arts teacher at Suffolk High School in 1949 and then taught at the Matthew Whaley School in Williamsburg from 1951 to 1957. He received an appointment to the faculty of Southern Illinois University as an Instructor in Industrial Educa-tion in 1957 and was promoted to the rank of tenured Assistant Professor in 1960.

Mr. Culpepper joined the faculty at Old Dominion College in 1962 as an associate professor and as the chairman of the newly created Department of Industrial Arts Education and served in that capacity for 12 years. He was promoted to professor in 1968 and designated as an Eminent Professor in 1983. During his tenure at Old Dominion University, he has provided service to the University as a member of numerous committees and boards including terms on the Faculty Senate and as the Chairman of Faculty Governance for the Darden School of Education.

Mr. Culpepper has been extremely active in research and publication. He has authored or co-authored 31 books in the field of electronics as well as numerous journal articles on this and allied topics. He has also invented 5 sets of laboratory teaching equipment and its supporting audio-visual aids. He holds a U.S. Patent for the invention of a teaching machine.

Mr. Culpepper has helped to further the reputation of Old Dominion University both nationally and locally. He has demonstrated exceptional dedication to his department, college and university and is highly respected by his colleagues and students.6 
News Article*1 Apr 1994 Retired Prof Keeps on Teaching
By Dove Wimbish, The Virginian-Pilot, April 1, 1994

FRED CULPEPPER, an Old Dominion University professor emeritus, taught technology education to teachers for 30 years. When the governor gave him the opportunity for early retirement, he took it.
Now he's teaching teachers again - this time in Chesapeake Public Schools.
``Here is someone who's an international expert, who's produced numerous electronics textbooks, whose time is extremely valuable given his knowledge base in the area of technology education, and he's doing it all free,'' said Bob Head, program administrator for Vocational and Technology Education for Chesapeake Schools.

``It's really so positive for someone with that amount of experience to be doing so much for our community, and I think that is the most valuable aspect of his donation. We're just very fortunate,'' Head said.

When Head was a student, he was one of the first students in Culpepper's department at ODU, and the two had stayed in contact over the years. So when Head asked Culpepper for help, he was happy to volunteer.

``The first thing Bob asked me was would I work with his electronics teachers,'' Culpepper said, ``and that was my specialty, so I said, `Sure!' ''

That help has been invaluable, Head said.

``He works with us two days a week and more if we need him, and he goes in and works with teachers and helps them with computer problems that they may have,'' said Head.

``We use some Apples and some IBM computers. If we have any problems with the Apples, I'll send Fred a message and he'll go by and fix it. He has become our `Apple guru,' and we haven't had to spend any money getting them repaired.''

But, according to Head, that's not Culpepper's primary contribution. He also works with technology education teachers in Chesapeake.

``Literally, I'm serving as a consultant, and I hate to glorify it with that kind of a name because what I try to do is be around to be helpful,'' said Culpepper.

``Occasionally I get to work with the students if they have a project that they're working on. For example, I've got a young fellow at Great Bridge High School who has designed and made by computer-driven lathe a complete chess set. He wants to take it to the national convention and explain what he's done by means of a computer slide show, so I'm helping his teacher, Neil Hoffman, to help the kid build the slide show.''

Culpepper's most recent project is networking some of the labs in the computer schools so that students can communicate with each other using the computers.

He's also saving the school system money by teaching students and teachers how to modify old computers to meet new needs.

``See, the schools have got all these computers they bought 10 years ago. These are old Apple II's, and you know what happens to old computers; they need to be replaced,'' said Culpepper. ``The computer companies sold a tremendous amount of Apples to schools awhile back, but those older machines just won't run the newer programs, and the schools don't want to throw them away.
``What we are trying to do is get them transferred down to the technology departments so the students can learn problem-solving with the equipment, so they can tinker with them, modify them and use them for their projects,'' he said.
``The schools think it's great. Otherwise these old computers are sitting in closets because they're not being used today, but are too good to throw away.''

Head said one of the things that makes Culpepper so effective is his high energy level.

``He really enjoys working with the students and the teachers, giving them some advice on their technology student association projects,'' he said. ``Fred is an individual who has a great deal of benefits for us. Even though he's retired, he is still in touch with what's going on in the schools and in his field.''

``Chesapeake is our future,'' said Culpepper. ``Virginia Beach is landlocked, and Chesapeake and Suffolk are the growth areas. We are going to be seeing some wonderful things happening in the near future in technology education, and Chesapeake is on the cutting edge of that. And it's just fascinating.

``I have only one regret in my life: I got into education about 20 years too soon. Here I am at the retired end of the spectrum, and I see all these wonderful things that are beginning to happen and I'm as excited about what's coming up and going on in education as when I first started teaching, except for one thing - I'm not down in the trenches anymore,'' said Culpepper.

``It's one of the advantages of being retired.'' 
Death*18 Dec 2012 He died at Portsmouth (city), Virginia, on 18 Dec 2012 at age 87.4 
Obituary*19 Dec 2012 Portsmouth - Fred W. Culpepper Jr., Professor Emeritus of Old Dominion University died on December 18, 2012. A native of Portsmouth, he dedicated his life to the teaching of Industrial Arts (later Technology Education). His education was obtained at VPI (BS) and the State University of New York at Oswego (MS) with additional work at William and Mary. He began teaching at Suffolk High School, and then continued at Matthew Whaley School and James Blair Schools in Williamsburg. Following this, he accepted a position on the faculty of Southern Illinois University. In 1962, he accepted a position on the faculty of then Old Dominion College as Associate professor and Chairman of the Department of Industrial Arts Education. He retired from Old Dominion University at the rank of Eminent Professor of Technology Education in 1992. After his retirement, he continued to be active in education by performing volunteer service to local school divisions.
     Mr. Culpepper's expertise was in the field of electronics. He taught many courses in this field and authored many professional Journal articles. He also served as Instructor at many teacher workshops in diverse locations. Perhaps his greatest achievement was the co-authorship of 34 textbooks, lab manuals, and sets of visual aids for Secondary School Classes in Electronics. He also designed 5 sets of laboratory equipment for student use when using the lab manuals. He was recognized by many educational organizations for his contributions.
     Mr. Culpepper maintained his home in Portsmouth and was a 50 year member of Tidal Wave AF & AM Lodge, Portsmouth Kiwanis Club, and lifetime member of Monumental Methodist Church. While he has no immediate descendants, he leaves behind many cousins, close friends, and former students, many of whom are now teachers themselves.
     Mr. Culpepper served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
     A funeral service will be conducted at 11am on Friday at Snellings Funeral Home, Churchland Chapel. Burial will follow in Olive Branch Cemetery. Viewing and Visitation will be held on Thursday evening from 6-8pm at the funeral home. Condolences may be offered to the family at 
Burial*23 Dec 2012 His body was interred on 23 Dec 2012 at Olive Branch Cemetery, Portsmouth (city), Virginia.4 
Obituary7 Feb 2013 NORFOLK - Fred W. Culpepper, Jr., a Professor Emeritus at Old Dominion University, passed away December 18, 2012. He was the first Chairman of the Industrial Arts (now Technology Education) Department and held that position for almost thirty years while still actively teaching in the classroom. Some forty years of his life were dedicated to teaching young men and women about general technology and specifically, electronics technology. Sadly, while he has no living relatives with which to share what follows, our community is filled with individuals like me who remember him because he helped shape both our careers and our personal lives.
When I graduated from high school, I was expected to attend college. That was the dream of many WWII parents for their children because most of them had never had that opportunity themselves. And while they had definite thoughts about what their son should study, I was not certain about what I wanted to do in life. But because my math and science scores from high school looked promising, I elected to study engineering without too much idea about what engineers actually did. And my high school transcript and SAT scores were good enough to get me enrolled in VPI Extension's Engineering Program at the Norfolk College of William and Mary (now ODU).
However, my bubble was burst during sophomore year. I just was not making good enough grades to continue and Dean William Whitehurst suggested I take a semester off and figure out what I really wanted to do before returning to school. It was right as I was preparing to head home for that summer I happened, purely by chance, to meet Fred Culpepper.
The Industrial Arts (now Technology Education) Department had only been in operation for a year when I stumbled into the former laundry building it occupied on the corner of 49th Street and Hampton Boulevard. There was Fred, pipe in the corner of his mouth, looking around in the main laboratory area where machinery was in the process of being set up. He introduced himself, asked if I was a student and what I was studying. When I explained to him that I was leaving school temporarily and why, he told me to come and see him when I returned to school the following January. I did and that changed my life.
Fred considered industrial arts to be "practical engineering", a hands on approach to designing and constructing the things folks needed and used in their daily lives. He told me he would "pull strings" to get me the classes needed to complete my Industrial Arts Degree as long as I worked hard and earned the grades expected. During my junior year, he even hired me to work in the Department several weekday afternoons and on Saturdays to earn some much appreciated and badly needed pocket money.
"Mr. C", as he was affectionately known to his students, occasionally made a business trip to Richmond on Saturdays. When one of these day trips arose, he would invite one or two of us to accompany him for the car ride up and back. Route 460 was the only direct way to travel there at the time. And, while I'm certain he appreciated the company, it provided an excuse for him to treat us and himself to peanut fried chicken at the Virginia Diner on the return leg.
Because of Fred's kindness, guidance, and encouragement I graduated from Old Dominion College (now ODU) and became a technology teacher for the Norfolk Public School System. During my second year of teaching a junior high school electronics class, Fred asked me to teach electronics for him at the College. Naturally I was both flattered and honored that he would ask one with so little experience to take on such a responsibility but I turned him down. I just was not ready to begin teaching folks my age about a subject which I was still learning how to teach myself.
My career with NPS spanned thirty-nine years and I enjoyed all of it immensely. I know none of this would likely have happened had I not met Fred. And I'd venture to say that many of my former classmates from Old Dominion College would tell you pretty much the same type of tale about their success in life due to Fred Culpepper's influence.
Farewell Fred and thank you for everything..... my teacher, my mentor, my friend.....7 
ChartsHenry Culpepper Jr. of Norfolk Co., VA: Descendant Chart
Last Edited7 Feb 2013


  1. E-mail written Aug 2010 to Warren Culpepper from Frederick Winston Culpepper Jr. (#878), e-mail address.
  2. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    Portsmouth (city), VA, Marshall Ward, ED 23, Page 25A, Family 626, 931 B St (30 Apr 1930)
    Fred Culpepper, Head, M, Wh, 37, md@24, VA/VA/VA, Machinist/Navy Yard
    Lois Culpepper, Wife, F, Wh, 34, md@21, VA/NC/NC
    Fred Culpepper Jr., Son, M, Wh, 5, sng, VA/VA/VA
    Ruth Woodard, Niece, F, Wh, 3, sng, MD/NC/VA.
  3. 1940 (16th) US Census, compiled by the US Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls., Online database at
    Portsmouth (city), VA, Washington Ward, ED 116-39, Page 14 (10 Apr 1940)
    Lines 43-46, 355 Hamilton Avenue
    Fred W. Culpepper, Head, M, Wh, 45, md, VA, 1935 in same house, Progress Man/Navy Yard
    Lois W.. Culpepper, Wife, F, Wh, 43, md, VA, 1935 in same house, Housework
    Fred W. Culpepper Jr., Son, M, Wh, 15, sng, VA, 1935 in same house, School
    Woodrow W. Wilkins, Boarder, M, Wh, 21, sng, NC, 1935 in Gates Co., NC, Machinist's Helper/Navy Yard.
  4. Virginian-Pilot/Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA.
    Obituary of Frederick W. Culpepper, Jr. (#878), published 19 Dec 2012.
  5. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at
  6. Minutes of The Board of Visitors, Old Dominion University, April 9, 1992.
  7. Virginian-Pilot/Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA.
    Tribute to Frederick W. Culpepper, Jr., (#878), published 7 Feb 2013.