In Memory of

Colonel (Retired) John D. Culver

February 24, 1943 - January 14, 2023


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


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Mr. Culver, I’ll always remember the first time I met you. You welcomed me into your residence as if JC and I had been lifelong friends. You offered me something to drink and a sandwich. First impressions are lasting impressions. Your kindness didn’t go unnoticed.

My deepest sympathies to the Culver family and friends of Mr. Culver. May he rest in peace and thank you for your service.

Sending condolences and love to Regina and family. John will be missed by our family. He was a wonderful person! May you be comforted in your sorrow. Love from the Kewanee family.

Forever love you, Johnny Cricket. You were one in a million and made the world a better place.

Col Culver you are missed! I’m looking forward to seeing you again in the spirit world–our reunion will be a joyous one. Until we meet again–farewell my friend!

John was a very special person who generously shared his excellent abilities with others. He is greatly missed. Love to his extraordinary and loving wife, Regina.

When God made you He threw away the mold! You were always a kind and “gentle” man with a kind word to everyone and a heart that showed love to all. Until we have our next party RIP my brother.
Love you,

I was truly saddened by the news of John’s passing. He was a good friend in grade school and high school. I will miss him greatly.

John, you were a man who lived a life beyond mere words. My condolences to Regina and family.

My deepest sympathies to the family and friends.
John will always be remembered as kind and giving. He was a listener and would not judge you and gave you advice even if it were not what you wanted to hear. Working together at Scott AFB and the meetings we had each morning just before the start of the day will always be with me. Until we meet rest in peace.

Col (R) Culver was a great friend and mentor. I met Col Culver in 1984 at Scott AFB. Although he was a Senior Officer at the time, he was never to busy to provide mentorship and advice. Col Culver had a direct impact on my career and the careers of countless other minority officers in the USAF. Col Culver was a genuine good guy who always greeted you with a smile. We will miss him dearly. My condolences and prayers to the family.

The Waddy family was blessed by Mr. Culver’s ability to reach people from various backgrounds and make them feel like they belonged. Mrs. Waddy and I are proud retirees of Raytown C2 School District because Mr. Culver encouraged us to join the staff in 1998. A scholar and gentleman that we had the honor of following.
Chef C.L. Waddy, USN Retired

Although not large in stature, John was a mountain of a man. I knew him for many years as he first served on various Village boards and eventually became Chair of the main John Knox Village board, a position that comes with much responsibility and respect. John was always kind, thoughtful in decision-making, and a great listener. He was sacrificial and wanted what was best for our residents. I continued to connect with John, in a different kind of relationship, when he and Regina became residents of the Village. Even up to the end, John always had that sparkle in his eye and big broad smile. I loved John and will greatly miss him. He was a true friend. Dan Rexroth

As one of those students at Laurel Hills Elementary School that “had difficulty allowing the teachers to be in charge” I was blessed to spend time in my very early formative years being guided by the kindness, grace, and dedication Col. Culver shared in every interaction.
I can not express enough how important and needed his mentorship was for me at that time and truly shaped the man I am today, and the man I continue to strive to become. There’s so much I wish I could tell him about what he meant and still means to me, but I will settle in taking pride knowing I was a student that could always get him to let out a hearty laugh (even when he was being very serious with me).

My prayers and condolences to the family of this sweet man.

Col. Culver, I miss you dearly.

Col Culver was my mentor in the second half of my Air Force career and John was my friend for the past 34 years. He influenced my professional and personal life just as he did with so many others. I can’t thank him enough. The world has lost a good man!

Deepest sympathy for John’s family and wife, Regina. What a truly wonderful man. He was so kind and good to me and my family. He will truly be missed. Love, Steven

On-behalf of the Scott Mentorship Group, we want to express our sincere condolences for the passing of an “Outstanding” mentor and special person.

Colonel Culver was one of the original mentors honored by the Scott Mentorship Group. He took deliberate and bold steps to share in public or private settings to improve junior officers’ professional development and career progression. His mentorship was critical to junior officers understanding “how to be competitive.” He also motivated others to continue a legacy of “Gift Giving.”

We are better individuals for having known Colonel Culver during critical periods of our Air Force careers; and appreciate his support of our charity golf events and funding efforts. The Scott Group will continue to share Colonel Culver’s mentorship legacy because he recognized the need to mentor younger officers so that their talents would be used to support the needs of this nation; he truly believed in “Service Before Self,” the foundation that makes truly “Outstanding Mentors.”

Please accept our Deepest Sympathy, and we will post comments on our website.

May the Almighty Creator provide eternal rest for John Culver and bless the Culver family with comfort during their time of bereavement.

Eternally Grateful,

Dr. Abraham Morrall, DBA
Scott Mentorship Golf Tournament Group

To Regina and Family,
I had the incredible opportunity to work closely with John at Laurel Hills Elementary.
He saved and guided students with respect and high expectations. As principal, I can attest to his far reaching success with teachers and staff as well! May he rest in peace.

John was a close friend starting in 3rd grade when I first attended Wethersfield Grade School in Kewanee, IL. John was always welcome in my home as I was in his, as a member of each other’s families. John and his brothers introduced me to many musicians like Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong on their record player.
Always an athlete who excelled, we played together on football, basketball, baseball and track teams for the Wethersfield Flying Geese. “Come on Geese, Fly High!” John was all conference in Football. We had a special trick play called the Y-Down where there was a fake hand-off to John only to have him break through the line and eventually run up the field to be the receiver of my pass. It worked sometime.
John, a serious student, was one of five of us who went to our Math Teacher Mrs. Madison’s house in the summer before Senior year to be tutored in Calculus, which was not offered at Wethersfield High School, but would help the students with their college prep.
A true friend from childhood through adulthood, John always wanted to know what was going on with you and your family. He encouraged friends to live the best lives they could even through our 60th High School Reunion just over a year ago. I am so fortunate to have had John as a classmate and friend.
My heartfelt Condolences and love to Regina and the family on this great loss.

So sorry for your loss. John’s obituary was amazing. Our prayers go out to you and your family.

JC is my best friend. He was there for me in my moment of sickness. I don’t know anyone else who is as caring and has a bigger heart. Sheila and I send our thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Kim and Sheila

Well done, good and faithful servant, for the service to your country and community.

Shera McDowell

John was a truly gentle man. He always had interesting things to talk about and made conversation easy. Rest In Peace, John. Love and hugs to Jeannie.

Dear Regina and family,

My life was enriched by knowing John at Wethersfield High school. What an amazing person!

You and John have been such a perfect match. Please, accept my sincere sorrow for your loss.

Love and tight hugs,

Judy De Craene

I served with John at the Pentagon. He was an incredible role model throughout his entire life, giving form and function to the words, “selfless service.” We will all miss him. Yet he will live on through the hundreds he touched in his lifetime.

I served with Col John Culver 1956CG Yokota. Col Culver was a tremendous leader who motivated us all to work together as we accomplished our mission. I was always amazed that he remembered everyones names to include spouses. Col Culver and I met again at the Pentagon in 1991 and he graciously served as my retirement officer. He was a man I admired with all my heart and he will be missed. My sincere condolences to the family.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063


Tuesday, January 24, 2023
12:00 P.M.
Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063