On June 20, 2020 heaven's gate opened wide to welcome Joe Mark Culwell, Commander, United States Navy, retired. Joe was born Sept. 15, 1946 in Dublin, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Omer (US Navy) and Levenia Culwell. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Vikki, his son Troy Culwell and wife Monica of Cleburne, Texas, his sister Sherry Roe of Bedford, Texas, and his grandchildren, MM2Brandon Culwell, US Navy and his partner Kevin Chandler of Bremerton, Wash., Kaitlin, Ty, Erin, and Evan.
Joe graduated from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Va. in 1964 and entered North Texas State University. He graduated in 1968 and entered the Navy's Officer Candidate program, receiving his commission Mar 14, 1969 at NAS Pensacola, Fl. In Oct. 1969 he earned his wings as a Naval Flight Officer and would go on to fly the EA6B Prowler. His naval career included 3 squadrons, 5 cruises, and over 500 carrier deck landings. His achievements include the Navy Commendation medal, the Navy Achievement medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation medal, Navy Expeditionary medal, Humanitarian Service medal, and Sea Service medal. In 1985 Joe received the Vice Admiral John Perry Prowler Excellence Award which is given to the individual who contributed the most to the EA6B community that year. Joe was also one of the first Naval officers to be designated a Master Training Specialist. He completed his Masters degree from Webster University in 1986. In Sept 1988, Joe retired from active duty but continued to wear his uniform as he began his second career as a Naval Junior ROTC Instructor at Mary Carroll High School in Corpus Christi, TX. In 1993 he was hired by LISD to establish and build the NJROTC program at Lewisville High School. By the following year it was recognized as an Honor Unit (in the top 10% in the nation) and stayed that way for 11 years until Joe retired from teaching in 2005.
Joe was a member of Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church and the Denton Area Walk to Emmaus community where he served as Lay Director for Walk #3 in 2002 and community Lay Director. His priorities were always his faith, his family and his patriotism.
Travel was his passion. He visited 34 different countries during his life, including living in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a boy when his father was stationed there. He and Vikki traveled the United States in their motorhome after his retirement and saw 47 of the continental states (missing Delaware) and also traveled to Alaska and 3 of the Hawaiian islands.
His other passion was doing volunteer work including serving the CCA food pantry for 15 years, Circle of Care Methodist Boys Ranch in Gore Ok for 7 years, Dallas Habitat for Humanity Thursday crew, 2 trips to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and serving his church.
Services will be held for the family at the DFW National Cemetery on July 3, 2020 followed by a Celebration of Life service at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church, 6101 Morriss Rd, Flower Mound, TX at 2pm. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing if you attend. Memorials may be given to the church in his honor and will go to the Monday Crew, a group of retired men that included Joe who serve the church doing repairs and maintenance each week.
Published in Star Local Media from Jun. 25 to Jul. 1, 2020.