Howard Cranford Culbreth of Idaho Falls passed away Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in his home.
He was born Nov. 8, 1920, in Aberdeen, N.C., to Rev. Cornelius Blackman Culbreth and Georgia Slough Culbreth. Howard graduated from high school in Sanford, N.C., and from Elon University in Elon, N.C.
Immediately after graduation in 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy and began his training as a Navy pilot at Dallas and Pensacola and Jacksonville, Fla. He joined VP-16, a PBM squadron, and served in the Marianas, at Saipan, Taiwan, Guam and the Palau Islands, where they did all-night anti-submarine flights.
After World War II, he served on a carrier as a flight deck officer and in Squadron VR-24 in North Africa at Port Lyautey, French Morocco. He attended the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. He retired from the Navy in 1964 and returned to Hawaii, where he was employed in the safety division of Dillingham Corporation for 20 years.
He married Florine Ray of Elon, N.C., in 1943.They were blessed with four children: Catherine, Howard II, Robert and Steven. As a family, sports, camping and exploring new duty stations from Midway to Morocco proved educational, interesting and exciting.
His favorite hobby was golf. He won many tournaments, made custom clubs, served as a teaching pro and played over 85 years.
He was faithful to the church his father ministered, the Methodist Church, and belonged to Trinity United Methodist Church in Idaho Falls.
Howard is survived by his wife of 70 years, Florine Ray Culbreth; son, Steven Culbreth of Kailua, Hawaii; granddaughter, Alexa (Brent) Kulia; two great-grandsons, Miles and Wyatt of Cheyenne, Wyo.; sisters, Virginia Culbreth McLean of New Orleans and Helen Culbreth Dietze of New York City; and six nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Dr. George Culbreth of Charlotte, N.C.; infant daughter, Cathy; and sons, Howard II of Las Vegas and Robert of Grangeville, Idaho.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 30, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 237 N. Water Ave., with Rev. Brenda Sene officiating. The family will visit with friends from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday prior to services. A light luncheon will follow the service in the parlor. Interment will be at a later date at Punchbowl of the Pacific in Honolulu.
Online condolences may be sent to www.woodfuneralhome.com.