Culley, James Paul

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Dr. James Paul Culley, 81, of Pearisburg, Virginia, passed away suddenly on September 21, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, four children, Marybeth (Tom) Nevins of Vermont; Christopher (Shannon) Culley of Texas; Tonya Culley of New York; Thad (Erin) Culley of North Carolina; stepdaughter, Jen (Jonathan) Roberts of Georgia; and nine grandchildren.

As a longtime resident of Pearisburg, he served the community as a general surgeon at Giles Surgical Practice and Giles Memorial Hospital for over twelve years. He retired his practice in 2002 following a terminal cancer diagnosis. Beating the odds, he survived cancer and began a study of divinity, earning his Doctorate of Theology in 2017. Missing his medical service, he began a second career as an emergency room physician for the VA Hospital in Beckley, WV in 2008, retiring in 2020.

Jim came from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky and attended medical school at the University of Kentucky, graduating in 1969. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the KU Wildcats basketball team. Jim was a proud veteran, having served as a military doctor in the U.S. Air Force for four years in Germany. He provided medical and spiritual care for patients both domestically and across the world as a missionary doctor in Ghana, Nigeria, Saint Lucia, and the Philippines.

Jim will be remembered as a kind and generous soul, and an eternal optimist. Known for his quips and quotes, he would light up a room and jump to get you “anything your heart desired.” He loved the mountains and fishing in the New River with his wife, “Honeybun,” and with his best friend, Jimmy Beckner. Driven by faith, he lived to be a “fisher of men and fish.”

A private ceremony for the family will be held at the New River’s edge on Saturday. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that you honor Jim’s generosity by providing a random act of kindness to someone in need. A guestbook is available by visiting Kendall Funeral Home in Pembroke will be serving the Culley family.