Anne Elizabeth Bailey Culpepper passed away in the early morning of Nov. 2, 2020, at her home in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, with her family by her side. She was 91 years old.
She was born Sept. 20, 1929, In Coronado, California, to William Rufus (Bill) and Grace Andrews Bailey. Being the only child of a Navy Chief Petty Officer, she spent her childhood traveling extensively around the United States living in port cities from California to Florida, up the Eastern Coast through Boston as well as the Panama Canal. Following World War II, her family settled in Pleasant Grove, Florida, to be near her mother’s relatives.
Following her graduation from Pensacola High School in Pensacola, Florida, in 1947, she attended Mars Hill Junior College in Mars Hill, North Carolina, from 1947 to 1949. During her summers she worked with the Florida State Baptist Training Union in Central Florida teaching Bible study at night and Vacation Bible School during the day.
After completing her studies at Mars Hill, she was accepted to Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. During the summers of 1950 and 1951, while at MC, she served as a summer missionary in Southern California leading VBS in Salinas, Monterey and Carmel. She also served as an usher during the National Southern Baptist Convention held in San Francisco.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education from Mississippi College in 1951, she worked at Jones Junior College serving as the Director of the Baptist Student Union for two years.
In 1953 she began her studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, earning her master’s degree in religious education.
Anne moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1955 to serve as the director of the BSU at Baptist Hospital where she began the first student nurses BSU program.
In 1955, Anne met Charles Herschel Culpepper, and they were married in March 1956. She continued her work in education and religion as their marriage took them from Jackson to Clarksdale and then to Vicksburg. They eventually settled in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in 1967 where they made their permanent home in the Mississippi Delta.
Through her years in education, she taught junior college, kindergarten, high school, and junior high English and speech. She completed her master’s degree in guidance from Mississippi College in 1971 and became the guidance counselor at Rolling Fork High School, serving 28 years in the public-school system. Following her retirement, she continued her career at Sharkey Issaquena Academy as guidance counselor for six additional years. Anne’s compassion for her students was evident by her devotion to each and every one. She was always an advocate for her students, guiding them in college selection, career pathways and military service.
Through the years, Anne continued to remain faithful to the service of the Lord, Jesus Christ. She was active as the Young Adult Sunday School teacher for more than 40 years and Sunday School superintendent at First Baptist Church Rolling Fork. She served as youth leader and minister of music for more than 20 years and was active in the Sharkey Issaquena Baptist Association. She was a member and served as president of the Women’s Missionary Union and a member of the church’s Mission Committee.
In recent years she has served on short term mission trips to New Jersey helping with VBS and to the Mississippi Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. She also traveled with the Mississippi State Baptist Convention as a member of the Missions Executive Committee to Vancouver, Canada, in 2009.
Anne Culpepper’s commitment to missions is quite evident in her lifetime of service throughout North America. Her love of mission work has been passed on to her grandchildren who have served on various missions to the Gulf Coast, New Jersey, Indonesia, Africa, New England, Wales, Eastern Europe and Nicaragua.
In retirement, Anne Culpepper was also active in the Rolling Fork community where she helped in attaining a grant for the local hospital in the 1900s. She also helped in the establishment of the Rolling Fork Visitor’s Museum where she volunteered her services as long as she was able. She enjoyed volunteering with local celebrations such as the Deep Delta Blues Festival as well as the annual Great Delta Bear Affair. She was a member of the Rolling Fork Garden Club, serving as president for two terms. She was awarded the Cary Christian Center Delta Lights Award in 2013 honoring her commitment to the people of Sharkey and Issaquena counties. In 2015 she was named grand marshall for the Rolling Fork Christmas Parade.
Anne Bailey Culpepper was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Charles Herschel Culpepper.
She is survived by her two daughters, Celeste Hankins (David) and Tracye Anderson (Andy). She leaves behind four grandchildren, Haley Hankins Bush (Jason), Tyler Hankins (Lacy), Ryan Anderson and Marlee Anderson; and six great-grandchildren.
Services are scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church Rolling Fork with graveside services immediately following at Mound Cemetery in Rolling Fork. Rev. Britt Williamson will be officiating the services. The family asks that all visitors please wear masks while attending either service.
Active pallbearers are John Abney, Todd Heigle, Eddie Holcomb, Bill Newsom, Marlon Nichols, Alvaro Rodriguez, Thad Virden and Phillip Byrd.
Honorary pallbearers are Frank Corban, Gary Hays, C.O. Kynerd, Rev. Reese E. Kyzar, Jimmie Magee and Jimmy Walker.
The family is extremely grateful to the wonderful sitters who helped care for her at home, Adorations Home Health of Rolling Fork and Adorations Hospice of Yazoo City.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Rolling Fork Missions Fund.