Warwickers probably remember John Culther best from his bike.
It wasn’t a fancy bike. It was a practical ‘where you need it’ bike with only one gear and a place to secure your load over the rear wheel. John was tall and cleverly wore a helmet wherever he went. He occasionally stopped by Beacon to talk politics or send letters to the editor. The letter was accompanied by a series of cartoons he had drawn.
About 12 years ago, he made his final visit to Beacon to bid us farewell on his way south to Tupelo, Mississippi. He wanted to make sure he could still get the beacon. We signed him up so he could stay connected to his Warwick.
he was on the news. He shared his views, and we regularly received chunky envelopes filled with his latest ramblings and comics.
Last week I learned from Asbury United Church parishioner Becky Arnold that John passed away on December 23rd at the Green House of the United Methodist Senior Service in Tupelo. he was 86 years old.
An internet search found John’s obituary in the Tupelo Daily Journal. In his youth, he is reported to have developed his love of music from his stepmother Ginny Carruthers, with whom he had a close relationship. “John could tear the piano apart!” Read the obituary.
He graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee. He thought he had the best preparatory education in the country there. John received his formal education from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s degree in Music and then a Master’s degree from Louisiana State University. A born educator and a student of lifelong learning, John retired after his thirty years as a primary school music teacher in Kingstown.
He moved to Tupelo about 12 years ago and has become a regular at the region’s musical and artistic events. His love of music led Tupelo’s First United to the Methodist Church, and later to the West, Jackson. I found great joy in music and worship ministries. According to his obituary, “A huge fan of American Family Radio, John’s zest and zest for life, living, singing, making music, and his service to creators will remain in his legacy. .
Becky Arnold remembers John competing in the MS Bike Asson from 1990-1997 using “a very basic bike with no gears”.
“He was a devoted Christian, funny, a musician, a teacher, quirky and friendly. He will be missed by those of us who had the privilege of being called his friend,” she said. wrote in an e-mail.
As the words faded, John’s memory accompanied his obituary.
“How many of you know the names of the instructors from first grade to college and who will teach the classes they taught?” asks Jan Jones.
“A true Christian, he taught me to be a strong, dependable and obedient Christian. He shared his music with many young people. As an itinerant public school teacher, During each six-week grading period, he took a week off from church affairs to write a personal note on every child’s report card,” Yang continues.
She recalls his Donald Duck impressions and roller coaster stories, but it’s the bike that keeps her coming back.
“Thank you for all the years with him. All over the state, rain or shine, it’s iconic to many!”