Richard Franklin Rea Culp, 71, enjoyed time spent fishing at Southport Pier

Richard Franklin Rea Culp

SOUTHPORT — Richard Franklin Rea Culp, 71, passed away Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Born Oct. 22, 1949, in York County, South Carolina, he was a son of the late William Jackson Culp Jr. and Hilda Deese. He was raised by Tom “The Bull” and Ruth Rea of Pineville. In addition to his parents, Richard was preceded in death by a stepson, Johnny Shelton; cousins, Tom and Ruth Rea; and sister, Carolyn McKellen.

Richard was a retired plumber. He had a favorite pastime of fishing out on the Southport Pier. He enjoyed cruising down the road with his family making jokes and listening to the beach boys. He loved to sing, and at one point in his life, was part of a barbershop quartet. He had dreams of being an architect, which came out in his talent of building small wooden houses, tiny wooden boats, and reenactment scene displays. He was an amateur archaeologist who excavated Indian pottery along the Cape Fear River for many years. His favorite holiday was Christmas and was very excited about the opportunity he had to play as Santa Clause for the children where he lived. He loved all of his family and believed in God so we shall meet again!

Surviving are his beloved wife of 33 years, Sandra Evans Culp; son, Robert Culp of Southport; daughter, Shelley Culp, and her husband, Jason, of Southport; son, Rick Culp, and his wife, Tracey, of Charlotte; stepchildren, Eddie Shelton of Southport and Lorrie Shelton of Wilmington; four brothers, Tommy Culp, Bill Culp, Grady Deese and Johnny Deese; three sisters, Libby Hughes, Saramae Gordon and Mary Jane Hewett; and four grandchildren.

To honor his wishes, a private memorial service will be held.

The family requests with gratitude that donations be made in his name to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, 10 Glenlake Pkwy NE South Tower, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30328; or

Share online condolences with the family at Michael J. Fulwood Funeral Service Licensee.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email