Betty Dunn Culpepper Betty Dunn Culpepper, 96, a long time resident of Tallahassee, passed away January 31, 2009, at Westminster Oaks where she had resided for the past twenty-seven years. A memorial celebration of her life will be held there in the Gallery of the Parry Building at 3 p.m. EST on Saturday; February 7, 2009, followed by a reception. Bevis Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements (850-385-2193). She leaves behind her devoted family. These include her two sons, Blair Culpepper (Diane) of Winter Park and Bruce (Pep) Tallahassee; and her adored grandchildren, Betsy Culpepper, Bruce Culpepper (Ellen), Brad Culpepper (Monica) and Blair Culpepper Kurland (Brett). Her precious great-grandchildren are Knox and Brady Culpepper, Rex, Judge and Honor Culpepper and Cade, Rivers and Reese Kurland. Other survivors include her brother, James R Dunn (Peg) of Daytona Beach, along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Betty's roots reached deeply into early Florida as her grandparents came by wagon, train and boat to open a building and marine supply business in Palatka in 1869. Shortly after her father was born in 1888, the store burned, and the entire family moved to Jacksonville and started over. When the great fire along Bay Street occurred in 1905, once again, the family picked up and traveled south to Daytona Beach where the business of Dunn Bros. Hardware, Lumber and Marine Supply was established. Betty was born August 11, 1912, in an apartment above the store where her parents, Helen Knox and James Blair Dunn, were living. Shortly after, her father built a house with a tennis court, and as a teenager, Betty won the city championship two years in a row. Graduating from Mainland High School as valedictorian of her class, she came to Florida State College for Women in the fall of 1929. She enjoyed membership in Delta Delta Delta sorority, and her love of drama and theater led to her appearance in many campus productions. She graduated in 1933 cum laude with a degree in English and Speech. Betty returned to Mainland High School in Daytona to teach and became a founder of the Junior League of Daytona Beach. She also met the handsome new principal at the high school, J. Broward Culpepper, a University of Florida graduate from Perry. By spring they were engaged; and marriage followed in June of 1935. In August of 1942, Betty and Broward with their two young sons, Blair and Bruce, moved to Tallahassee when Broward became the principal of Leon High School. Later, Dr. Culpepper served as the first Dean of Men when FSCW became the co-educational FSU, and subsequently, he was appointed the first Chancellor of the State University System. Betty was his constant companion and loving partner for 55 years. Throughout her life, Betty continued to receive great joy in helping others. She was a member of the First Baptist Church for more than fifty years, taught Sunday School and was twice president of the Woman's' Missionary Union. She was a fifty-year member of the Caroline Brevard Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a long time member of the Tallahassee Garden Club, the Tallahassee Literary Club, the Tallahassee Woman's Club, the American Association of Univcrsity Women and Chapter CL of PEO. Betty shared her needlework talents generously, once knitting twelve sweaters in as many months. Her children and grandchildren were all gifted of items, which she needle pointed for their homes. In her later years she taught knitting at Westminster Oaks and headed a project to knit lap robes and scarves for veterans in nursing homes. She was known in the community for her outstanding book reviews and dramatic readings. In all things she was patient, kind and nurturing. Betty was predeceased by her husband, Broward; her brother, Philip Knox (Buck) Dunn of Daytona Beach and Burnis Coleman, her friend and husband in their golden years. For those who wish, her family requests that memorial contributions be made to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee FL 32308-5428.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat from Feb. 1 to Feb. 2, 2009.