Sara Jo Ellis Culbertson, 84, of Beaumont, passed away on Sunday, December 9, 2012, after battling a long illness. She was born in Pampa, on November 28, 1928, and was the youngest of five children. The Ellis family moved to Tyler, where Jo met and married her sweetheart, Richard Culbertson. They celebrated sixty-six years of marriage before his death in May of this year. Richard's career in law enforcement eventually brought them to Beaumont, where they settled to raise their children, Rick and Pat. Jo worked in various capacities in Beaumont's business community and civic organizations and was Richard's staunchest supporter in his political career as sheriff of Jefferson County. In 1990, Jo was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and met that challenge with her usual grace and courage. She and Maury Meyers, former mayor of Beaumont, founded the Southeast Texas Parkinson's Support Group to help others affected by the illness. Jo and Richard were long-time members of Trinity United Methodist Church, where Jo was actively involved in Bible study and her Sunday school classes. She loved to travel, and she and her running buddies and dear friends, Mavis, Genita, and Kitty Jo embarked on a number of trips and adventures. Jo enjoyed the beach and fishing- a love she shared with her children, Pat and Rick, and her two grandsons, Ian and Andrew. Sara Jo is survived by her loving children, Pat Culbertson of Beaumont, grandson, Wayne Teel; and great-grandson, Carson of San Antonio, and Rick Culbertson and his wife, Donna, and their sons, Ian and Andrew Culbertson of Sour Lake. A gathering of Mrs. Culbertson's family and friends will be from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at Broussard's, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. Her funeral service will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, December 13, 2012, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3430 Harrison Avenue, Beaumont, with interment to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont. The Culbertson family would like to extend special thanks to all the caring health professionals who took such great care of our Mom. Thanks to Clairmont Nursing Home and Altus Hospice for their loving concern and thoughtfulness. Jo will always be remembered by those who knew her for her charm and grace. She had a wonderfully outgoing personality and an infectious giggle that just invited you to laugh along with her. We'll miss our Mud, our Nana. Memorial contributions may be made to National Parkinson's Foundation, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 5018, Hagerstown, Maryland 21741-5018. Complete and updated information may be found www.broussards1889.com
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Dec. 11, 2012