Helen Mae Culp
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Miss Helen Mae Culp, 89, died Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Park Pointe Village. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 4 at Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, with Reverend Jane Summey Mullinnex officiating. Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. at Laurelwood Cemetery.

Born on the Winthrop College Campus in Rock Hill, Miss Culp was a daughter of the late Leonard Parks Culp and the late Caroline Smith Culp. She graduated from Winthrop Training School in 1944 and Winthrop College in 1948. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Marcia C. McCarty and Louise C. Lesslie; brothers, Joe B. Culp, Lt. Col. J. Lewis Culp, and William L. "Bill" Culp, Sr; and two close friends, Marguerite Sapp and George Trumbull.

Helen taught in the Kingstree Schools, then in 1951 became the first full-time band director for Dillon County School District Two, where she served the students and the community until her retirement in 1981. Under her direction, the Dillon High School Band participated in many state events twice winning the S.C. state marching band championship. The Dillon High School "Marching Cats" gained national recognition through parade and festival performances. Among them are the Cherry Blossom Festival and 1976 Bicentennial Parade in Washington, D.C.; the Greatest Bands in Dixie Parade at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans; and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. They also performed several times at Walt Disney World and Darlington's Southern 500.

Among her many career honors are the 1979 Dillon County Star Teacher Award and the Business Women's Career Woman of the Year Award. In 1996, she was inducted into the South Carolina Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. She is also the recipient of 1992 Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Contributor Award. In 2006, she received the Order of the Palmetto, the state's highest civilian honor which is bestowed by the Governor for a lifetime of exceptional dedicated service to South Carolina.

In addition to her career in music education, Miss Culp was a commercial artist and owner of Culp-Craft Custom Designs until 2008.

Surviving are her nieces Joyce McCarty Brown, Caroline Culp Carrillo, Linda McCarty Liddicoatt, Dorothy Culp Farmer, and Jane Lesslie Culp; and her nephews, James B. Culp, Charles T. Culp, Robert L. Culp, William L. Culp, Jr., Samuel S. McCarty, John M. Lesslie, Jr., and Leonard G. Lesslie; a number of great nieces and nephews, and Gypsi, the last of her seven German Shepherds. She also leaves hundreds of students who were her "band children."

The family wishes to express special appreciation to caregiver Melissa Myers of Senior Helpers and the staff of WillowBrooke Skilled Care, Park Pointe Village. Memorials may be made to Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, 421 Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, SC. 29730 or Hospice and Community Care, P.O. Box 993 Rock Hill, S.C. 29731.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Herald on Feb. 1, 2017.
Funeral service
02:00 PM
Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church
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Memories & Condolences
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29 entries
February 11, 2017
Just learned of Miss Culp's passing through an old high school. Miss Culp's family spans decades through her band students.
Randy Tucker graduating class Dillon High School 1975
Resides in Reno, Nevada.

God Bless
February 8, 2017
Ms. Culp was a great band Director, she loved her students. I will always be grateful for all she taught me about music and life. Thank you. Feldon Roberts
Feldon Roberts
February 6, 2017
Miss Culp was among the greatest influences in my life. I had the pleasure of having her as a band director for 4 years. She constantly reinforced hard work and discipline. These lessons have contributed to making me that man that I am today. RIP.
Kenneth Rogers
February 4, 2017
Helen was a warm and gracious lady and a special friend to my father, George Trumbull. Helen was blessed with a loving family, and I am grateful to them for including my father in their family gatherings. God's blessings to all.

Georganne Trumbull Wicklund
Georganne wicklund
February 3, 2017
Miss Culp, Educator, Mentor and most of all genuinely concerned for Her Students. She was truly a special person and touched so many of our lives. She will be sorely missed
Allen Boan
February 3, 2017
Ms. Culp was such a sweet and dear lady. We knew her through church and her through her talents in graphic arts and printing. She was always so helpful and efficient. We enjoyed going to her house to place orders for church basketball t-shirts and having the opportunity to visit with her. She was always so kind and such a pleasure.
Barry and Jeanie Adickes
February 2, 2017
Many of us who followed in Miss Culp's footsteps to direct bands of our own did so after having learned from a master teacher and a caring educator. Her inspiration to her students and consequently to their students will live on forever. We are all eternally grateful to have had the privilege of being in the DHS Band under her exemplary leadership.
Nancy Hall White
February 2, 2017
Miss culp was one of the most influential people in my entire life.She was a true blessing to every life she touched.
Belva Saleeby Woods
February 1, 2017
I have so many fond memories of Miss Culp, that I cannot begin to name them all. She was an inspiration and found ways to bring music education to Dillon Schools when she was the ONLY music educator for the district. It was a privilege to be in the marching band for 5 wonderful years and a number of them in which all my brothers and sisters participated also. She is a legacy and the reason I am a music educator and therapist today.
Stephanie H Morris
February 1, 2017
I doubt if even she knew what a tremendous contribution she made in this world.
Molly poole
February 1, 2017
When I was young we lived next door to the lovely McCarty Family (Miss Culp's sister). The Culp DNA was filled with such wonderful musical talent
Please accept my condolences.
John Camp
February 1, 2017
Such a dear lady who will be missed by many.
Prayers and warm thoughts of condolences go out to Ms.Culp's family and friends.
Teri Tadlock
February 1, 2017
So sorry for the loss of such a dear lady and educator may you find comfort in family and friends and in the memories you share.
February 1, 2017
We are sorry for your loss of your dear love one mar you find comfort during thist difficult time in family and friends and i
February 1, 2017
I am the person I am today because of Miss Culp. She entered my life at a most impressionable time. Thank God she was there for me during all the years of high school. I think of her often. She will be missed, and I look forward to seeing her again one day.
Wayne Grimsley
February 1, 2017
I am the person I am today because of Miss Culp. She entered my life at a most impressionable time. Thank God she was there for me during all the years of high school. I think of her often. She will be missed, and I look forward to seeing her again one day.
Wayne Grimsley
February 1, 2017
It can be so hard to face the first year without your loved one, but the love of family and friends can carry you through.
K. White
February 1, 2017
Helen Culp had a tremendous positive influence on many students in the Dillon Community.
God Bless Her.
David Sloan
February 1, 2017
One of the finest women I had the pleasure of working with at DHS. What a phenomenal teacher she was! Her bands would run circles around today's bands. She worked her kids hard and they loved her for it! Rest In Peace, Ms. Culp!❤
Dolores Conn
February 1, 2017
You were a life line to whom ever life's you touched no one could ever match your talent or Witt you were the best at what you did fly high ms culp I'm sure you are joined with a band of angels by now you will forever be known as the best the greatest band director Dillon Ever had
Karen Sinclair Huggins
February 1, 2017
Miss Culp... The legend! She certainly put Dillon High School on the map back in the 1960s. We had a band room that was the envy of many other high schools and that was definitely approved by the school board in recognition of her talent and contributions to the DHS "fine arts" department! From the concerts to the pride the community felt in watching parade performances.. it is unlikely that anyone was able to fill those tiny shoes! RIP, great lady!
Joyce E. Rawls
January 31, 2017
Rest In Peace Miss Culp. I will never forget you and the years that I spent in your band. See you on the other side.
January 31, 2017
Patsy Surratt
January 31, 2017
What a talent! She was an inspiration to all of us who were privileged to be one of her band members..May she Rest In Peace and know she will always be remembered for all she gave to the students of Dillon High School and the State of South Carolina!
Patricia Mclaurin Wright
January 31, 2017
A lady of character and class. Thank you for all you have done for the students of Dillon, not just Dillon District 2. Prayers for the family
January 31, 2017
Ms Culp influenced my life as a student at DHS in the 60s, through her dedication, discipline, talent, generosity, her music and performances through the band and programs that she so diligently prepared and shared with all of us. May you RIP Ms Culp.
Beverly Mew Berry
January 31, 2017
Thank you for all you did. Legend is the first word that comes to mind when I hear the name Helen Culp.
Deneene Herring
January 30, 2017
I was just reminiscing about Miss Culp not even a week ago. A great woman who did a great work in Dillon, SC. Rest In Peace, Miss Culp.
Christopher E. Taylor
January 29, 2017
In a day where a female band director is not uncommon, it is hard for folks to picture how brave this woman was to become one when all directors at the time where male. But she did, and became one that outperformed bands throughout South Carolina even the superstar programs led by some of the great male directors of the time. My greatest compliment given after one of my own concerts as a director was that my concerts reminded someone who had been to many Helen concerts of a concert put on by her. I called her to tell her I had arrived. Rest In Peace dear Helen Steve Rummage Director of Bands West Florence High School Florence SC
Steve Rummage
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