Culbertson, Richard Knox

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Capt. Richard Knox (Dick) Culbertson, U.S.N., Ret., passed away peacefully on Friday, January 24, 2020, at the age of 91. He was a retired Naval Aviator and 45-year resident of Blacksburg, having moved there after 29 years of active service.

A 10th-generation Virginian, he was the only child of the late Richard Guy Culbertson and Mary Sandidge Culbertson. Dick was born on St. Paul Island in the Pribilof Islands of Alaska on April 18, 1928. He graduated from E. C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, VA, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and master’s degree from Radford University. He was a longtime member of Fairlawn Presbyterian Church, where he served as deacon and elder.

During his career in the Navy, Dick accrued over 13,000 flight hours and was an operations specialist in air transport operations, air traffic control, and aviation safety, while serving billets in various commands as Division Officer, Department Head, Officer-in-Charge, Executive Officer, and Commanding Officer.

He was predeceased by his first wife and mother of his four daughters, Joan Culbertson; second wife and beloved “Honee,” Betty Ruth Culbertson; and daughter Ann Culbertson. He is survived by his children, Dody (Bob) Kois, Sue (Ed) Snow, Debbie Taylor, Prue (Allen) Miller, Liz (Ken) Evans, Julie East, Tim (Kathy) Taylor; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and special friend and caregiver, Laura Hernandez.

The family wishes to especially thank Dr. Isaac Spence for his years of care and friendship to Dick, Betty Ruth, and their family; Carilion Hospice; and the staff at English Meadows-Blacksburg.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at Fairlawn Presbyterian Church with Rev. Allison Unroe officiating. The family will receive visitors prior to the service beginning at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to Fairlawn Presbyterian Church, 6900 Pulaski Avenue, Radford, VA 24040, or another favorite charity.