The Obituary of
Colonel (Retired) John D. Culver,
United States Air Force
John Douglas Culver of Lee’s Summit, Missouri and Kewanee, Illinois passed away on January 14, 2023 at his home following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.
John was born on February 24, 1943 to Oliver and Theodosia Culver in Kewanee, Illinois. He graduated from Wethersfield High School in 1961. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. John received his commission in 1965 as a distinguished military graduate of the Air Force ROTC program at Bradley University and entered active duty. John served his country for almost 30 years in the United States Air Force retiring at the rank of Colonel from the Pentagon in 1995. He earned his Master of Science Degree in Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson AFB, OH.
He had 18 assignments throughout the United States as well as overseas during his years of service. John’s breadth of experience included serving in communications-electronics, logistics, intelligence production, research and development, program management, resource programming and allocation, and strategic planning fields. He served a year in Vietnam as Chief of Maintenance at Bien Hoa and Cam Ranh Bay. He was assigned to the Pentagon two different times for a total of 10 years. John enjoyed all of his assignments, but one of his favorites was at the Group Commander of the 1956TH Communications Group in Yokato AB, Japan where he commanded more than 1200 personnel and was responsible for $440 million in equipment and facilities with a $24 million-dollar annual budget. He was “dual-hatted” and also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff/Communications-Computer System Headquarters 5th Air Force. His motto was “Mission, People, Opportunity to Grow.” John left a lasting legacy of mentorship while serving at Scott AFB in Illinois. He provided numerous counseling sessions to junior officers seeking career advice. He received many accolades for his outstanding mentorship activities and was recognized as a founder of the Scott Officer Mentorship Program. John earned numerous medals and awards during his service to our country.
Upon his retirement from the USAF, John continued in serve but this time in the field of education. He served at Laurel Hills Elementary School in Raytown, MO working with those students who had difficulty allowing the teachers to be in charge. His title was Behavior Interventionist. During this time, he was awarded the Support Staff Employee of the Year. In addition, he won the Fox 4 Crystal Apple Award which recognized outstanding area educators who are true mentors to students. John supported and mentored teachers and children from Sept. 1996 through June 2005.
John was a member of St. James United Methodist Church. He served on the Board of Directors of John Knox Village for seven years and as the Chair for two years. He was a member of the Premier Life Board of Directors and the John Knox Village Foundation Board of Trustees. He also served on the Executive Committee, Board Development Committee, Village Operations and the Strategic Planning Committee. From 2009 to 2012, John served on the St. Luke’s Hospital Board of Directors.
Besides his dedication to his county and his love for people, John had a passion for music. He enjoyed singing and listening to all kinds of music. His voice, kindness, and generosity will be missed by all who knew him.
John was preceded in death by his parents, 2 brothers (Samuel and James), a sister (Patricia McGinnis) and a brother (David) in infancy. He is survived by his wife Regina, and 2 sons John Jr. (Elisa) and Kevin Michael, his granddaughter, Jada; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and many special friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to John Knox Village Foundation or The Alzheimer’s Association.
Arrangements by Langsford Funeral Home, 115 SW 3rd Street, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 816-524-370