Deborah Ann “Deb” Culpepper

Deborah Ann “Deb”  Culpepper

Deborah Ann “Deb” Culpepper, 76, of Yakima, Washington, died peacefully with her children by her side on Sunday April 7, 2024 at Cottage in the Meadow hospice. Deb was born on August 23, 1947 in Columbus, Indiana as the first child of Norman and Joan (Robinson) Edwards. 

Deb is survived by her son Christopher, daughter Elizabeth (Schiller), granddaughters Bella and Tessa, brother Mark (Martha) Edwards, as well as Max, her beloved four-legged black labrador son and wonderful friend. She was preceded in death by her parents and in 2023, her husband of 50 years, Van.

Deb received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Vanderbilt University in 1969. While attending Vanderbilt, she was a member and officer of Pi Beta Phi social sorority. Deb also earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law where she met the love of her life and future husband and business partner, Van Culpepper. Following law school, Deb and Van served as judge advocates in the Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps and through that service, they had the opportunity to live in multiple locations, including Seoul, South Korea. Their final assignment was in Tacoma, Washington. Deb was very proud of her service as an officer in the JAG Corps. Memorial Day was a special day for Deb and she always made sure to speak with her father (who served in the Army in Germany during World War II) on that special day to thank him for his service. After her military service, Deb moved to Yakima, Washington where she opened a law practice with Van and raised their children. Deb’s favorite cases in her legal practice involved family law matters and minor children’s rights, often serving as a guardian ad litem, a responsibility she accepted thoughtfully and respectfully and which she greatly enjoyed. 

Deb loved adventure and worldwide travel, especially in the form of a good cruise. She enjoyed spending summers growing up on Treasure Island, Florida, visiting her retired parents on Sanibel Island, Florida, playing golf, reading mystery novels, listening to music, fine dining and dancing, and enjoying a glass of wine from one of her favorite Washington State wineries with Van near a cozy fire. 

Deb was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother who loved her family without reservation. Deb will be remembered for her intelligence, strong character, warm smile and twinkling blue eyes. Her integrity, dry wit, and wise counsel will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Deb’s family understands and believes that she is now reunited with Van and her family members who preceded her in death, which is a very comforting thought. Deb will continue to live in the hearts of her family and friends until they see her again. 

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”- Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

A Celebration of Life honoring Deb will be scheduled in the fall.