William R. ‘Bill’ Culp, 96, WWII vet, ice cream industry worker, Lititz community servant, father of five

By on June 19, 2019

William Russell “Bill” Culp, 96, of Lititz, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 10, 2019 at Hospice and Community Care in Mount Joy.

Through all his years, he worked hard and lived with kindness, care, and good humor. Affectionately known as “Poppy” to his grandchildren, he touched the lives of all who knew him.

Bill was born on Dec. 29, 1922 to Gilbert and Emma Smith Culp, the second to youngest of six children, and grew up in Kingston. At the height of the Great Depression, the family endured the passing of Bill’s father when Bill was only 12. He graduated in 1940 from Kingston High School.

During World War II, Bill served in the United States Coast Guard, including a unit dedicated to breaking the Japanese code. After the war, Bill enrolled at Penn State University, earning a B.S. degree in dairy husbandry in 1949.

Bill was in the dairy business his entire career, and was associated with Sealtest Ice Cream, Foremost Dairies, Penn Dairies, Gold Seal Ice Cream and as sales manager for Cloister Dairies and Spring Water Company. He served as president of the Keystone Ice Cream Association in 1983-1984 and secured the governor’s proclamation of Ice Cream Day in Pennsylvania in 1985. He also established The Keystone Reporter, a trade publication for association members.

Bill met his wife, Elsie Noble Culp, at Penn State, and they were married 69 years before Elsie’s passing in July of 2018. They raised five children. Bill’s son David Culp preceded him in death. He is survived by his daughter: Nancy Culp Sajeski (Eugene), Hummelstown; and sons: Barry Culp, Reading; Randall Culp (Elizabeth), Hunlock Creek; and Robert Culp (Vivian Linares), Garrison, N.Y. Elsie and Bill had 10 grandchildren: Heather and Emily Sajeski; Alyson Lynn Palanzo Bryan and Drew Culp; Anne, Will and Jonathan Culp; and Dylan and Lianna Culp. They also have three great-grandchildren.

Bill was preceded in death by his brothers: Gilbert, Lewis, and George Culp. He is survived by his sisters: Irene Strzepek, Plymouth, Minn.; and Marilyn Evans, Kingston.

Bill was a longtime member of the Highland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, where he served as an elder and past president of the board of trustees. He was a past board member of the Lancaster Kiwanis Club and a member of the Lititz Lion Club. He was active in numerous civic organizations, including United Way, Boy Scouts, Meals on Wheels, Lititz Public Library, and Lititz Ambulance Association.

A memorial services was held in the chapel at Brethren Village on June 14. A luncheon reception with ice cream followed. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Highland Presbyterian Church, 500 E. Roseville Road, Lancaster, PA 17601 (highlandpc.org); or the Brethren Village Good Samaritan Fund, 3001 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA 17543 (bv.org).

To send online condolences, visit. SnyderFuneralHome.com. Arrangements in the care of Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, Lititz.

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