Russel Mallory Culp

Graveside services for lifelong Mancos resident Russel Mallory Culp will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1 at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

On March 8, 1921, in Cortez, Russel was born the son of Dudley R. and Phoebe H. (Milligan) Culp. He passed away Thursday, March 27, 2014, at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. Russel was 93.

Russel was a member and Past Master of Mancos Lodge No. 100 A.F. & A.M., Past Worthy Patron of La Plata Chapter Order of Eastern Star No. 83, Past Rainbow Dad of Rainbow Girls, and a 32-degree Mason with Scottish Rite.

Russel was called for service during World War II. He decided to move his family to California to stay with relatives while he was in the service. His physical examination, however, found that he had a heart defect; therefore, he could not serve his country. He felt that he could contribute to the war effort by working in the shipyards in San Francisco, so they remained there for several years.

After the war, he eventually moved his family back to Mancos, where he gained employment with the Montezuma County Road Department.

He later found employment when the Jackson Lake Dam Project began. This is when he began his career of operating heavy equipment.

After the dam was completed, he continued working as a heavy-equipment operator on many roads in the Southwest. In 1957, he went to work for Morrison Knudson. Russel worked his way up from heavy-equipment operator, to foreman, to superintendent and finally project manager. Russel continued to work for Morrison Knudson until he retired in 1975 and moved back to the ranch in Mancos that he had purchased in 1945.

Russel always loved being outdoors. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and riding his trail bike with family.

During his retirement, he and Faye along with the Baders, Sehnerts and Wagoners would take cruises, traveled to Mexico, and other destinations each year.

Russel taught himself to play the electric organ. With very little encouragement, he would gladly provide music for the senior citizens at the Mancos Senior Center.

Russel and Faye also drove to Cortez each week to enjoy an evening dancing with their many friends at the Senior Center.

Russel and Faye celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on Feb. 11 of this year. Although being rejected from the military with a bad heart, his heart was the last to give out in his final hour.

Surviving Russel are his wife, Faye Culp of Mancos; daughter, Belva Heath and husband, Shirlen of Mancos; son, Howard Culp and wife, Zadra of Mancos; and seven grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dudley and Phoebe Culp; and a brother, Harold Culp.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mancos Masonic Lodge No. 100 Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 11, Mancos, Colo. 81328.

Services are under the direction of Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to www.ertelfuneralhome.com and click on the obituary section.