Judge's Story

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The honorable Judge Vann Culp died peacefully with his family by his side on Saturday, July 9, 2016. A beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and mentor, he lived life with faith and sincerity.
Vanual Lavoy Culp (Vann) was born in Crockett, Texas on November 4, 1929. He graduated from Crockett High School in 1948, began his pre-law studies at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and completed his B. S. degree at the University of Texas, Austin. Vann attended St. Mary's University Law School, San Antonio, where he received his L.L.B. degree in 1956.
Vann's law career began in the Law Offices of John Peace in San Antonio, Texas, followed by the Law Offices of Warren Burnett in Odessa, Texas. He continued his litigation practice with Lynch, Chappell, Allday and Culp, Midland, from 1962 through 1972, followed by five years of private practice. During this time, he served as President of the Midland County Bar Association.
Deliberate, thoughtful and fair, Vann began serving as Judge in the 238th District Court in 1977. Mindful in his answers and decisions, Vann was respected for his careful consideration and genuine concern for all people. Appointed by Texas Governor, Dolph Briscoe in 1976, Vann was elected without opposition in 1978, 1982, and 1986. During this time, he also sat on the Judicial Section Executive Committee for the State Bar of Texas. After retiring from the bench, he practiced with Stubbeman, McRae, Sealy, Laughlin & Browder in Midland for ten more years, until 2000. Even after his retirement, Vann continued to accept judicial assignments, mediations, and arbitrations through 2016.
As a judge, Vann was once quoted as saying, "My aim in life is to be of service to the community and people." He accomplished this through continued involvement with advocacy organizations. Vann was an active member of the Lion's Club for 50 years, as well as a member of the Jaycees, serving as Vice President. He was the Chairman of the Midland County Democratic Party from 1969 through 1976. As a devout Episcopalian, Vann served on the Vestry of Trinity Church in Midland and later spent meaningful time with the Brotherhood of St. Andrew's at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Huntsville. Vann was honored to be a Mason.
When Vann wasn't thoughtfully considering a decision, he was thoughtfully considering a better spot to go fishing. Many of his favorite memories included fishing and hunting, especially with his son, Patrick. He also enjoyed tinkering outdoors, whether it was building the perfect airboat motor for the next fishing trip, or creating an innovative sprinkler system for luring East Texas tomatoes out of West Texas soil.
Vann was most often described as a quiet, studious man, but his family and close friends could always see a sly little twinkle in his eyes. By his children and grandchildren, he will most be remembered for his kind encouragement, his gentle caregiving, and most importantly, his strong tight hugs.
Vann is preceded in death by his parents, Gracie and Maneard Culp, his sister, Ruby Lee Patrick and his brother Clifton Culp.
Those who will miss him greatly include his loving wife of 63 years, Marilyn, his children and their spouses, Cathy and Jim Heck, Ginger Hanna, Patrick and Marta Culp; his grandchildren and their spouses, Ellen Heck and Andrius Gališanka, Julianna and Anton Larsen, Margaret Heck, Jonathan Hanna, Nathan and Natalee Hanna, Marta Riera, Cristina Riera and Grace Culp; and his joyful great-grandson, Martynas Gališanka.
The family would like to extend special thanks to the Seton Hospital team, the wonderful nurses of Hospice Austin, as well as Kim Hough, Ellen Dorsey, Jim Susman, and many friends and family members for their kindness during Vann's last days.
Funeral Services for Judge Vann Culp will be held Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. in the Callaway-Allee Memorial Chapel at 700 East Houston Avenue, Crockett, Texas with David Culp officiating. The family will receive friends for visitation Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m. prior to service. Interment will follow in the Porter Springs Cemetery. Immediately following the burial, all are invited to join the family for a reception at the Family Outreach Center, corner of FM 132 and FM 2967. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in memory of Judge Vann Culp be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or Hospice Austin. The obituary and guest book may be found online at www.callawayallee.com/vann-culp/
Published on July 12, 2016
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