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1919 - 2017

Clyde Culp, M.D. (CRS ’62)

Dr. Clyde E. Culp died on Feb. 1, 2017, at the Mayo Clinic – Saint Marys Campus.

Clyde was born June 21, 1919, in Tekoa, Wash., to Perry Scott Culp Sr. and Zaida Adaline Brown. Clyde graduated from Moscow High School, Moscow, Idaho, in 1937. From 1937 to 1940, he attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. He pursued his medical degree at the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland, Ore. Dr. Culp continued his internship and residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in Spokane, Wash. Upon completion, Clyde was obligated to serve in the U.S. Army (Medical Corps) in 1945. During his first months of service, Clyde was stationed at Fort Schick Army Hospital in Clinton, Iowa, where he met the love of his life, Vieno E. Hill. The two were married in the hospital chapel on Dec. 10, 1945, and the loving couple celebrated 67 years of marriage. As part of his military service, Dr. Culp was sent overseas to the island of Guam. There he spent 13 months treating service men and native population in the army hospital. Dr. Culp was proud of his difficult and accurate diagnosis of a Hansen’s disease case with one of his native patients. Clyde was discharged from the Army Medical Corps in the spring of 1947 with a rank of captain.

Upon his return from Guam in June of 1947, Dr. Culp was welcomed into the family medical practice of doctors Klaren and Loehr in Moscow, Idaho. Dr. Loehr was a familiar friend to Clyde. Clyde first me Dr. Loehr in 1931, when Dr. Loehr moved to Moscow and asked the pharmacist, Clyde’s father, Perry Culp Sr., where the local hunting and fishing spots could be found. Perry volunteered his 12-year-old son, Clyde, as guide to those area spots. Thus, began Clyde’s introduction into medicine. Not only did young Clyde serve as a hunting and fishing guide, he also provided directions and navigation on many house calls that Dr. Loehr made in Moscow and the surrounding countryside.

Dr. Culp practiced family medicine for 12 years. His sense of humor became the foundation for his wonderful bedside manner. Early in his practice, the army requested his return as an officer to the Army Reserve Medical Corps. Clyde maintained his association until he retired from the Army Reserve in 1979 at the rank of colonel.

In 1958, he was accepted into the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. At the age of 40, Dr. Culp sold his share of the Moscow family medical practice and moved his family to Rochester to begin his advanced medical studies. During his fellowship, Dr. Culp trained under Dr. C. W. Mayo, who chose Clyde as his first intern during his medical rotation. At the end of his four-year graduate studies, Clyde was offered a position in the newly formed Section of Proctology as a colon and rectal surgeon. Early on as a Mayo consultant, Dr. Culp found that wearing a long tie was very problematic when visiting post-operative patients, due to the tie always falling into the surgical dressings and wound area. Dr. Culp’s solution was to wear a bow tie, which became his dress attire trademark.

Dr. Culp and Dr. Robert Spencer heard of a New York physician who was working with a flexible endoscope. Bob won the coin flip and made the educational visit to New York. Upon his return, Dr. Spencer and Dr. Culp began to develop at the Mayo Clinic what is now known as the flexible colonoscopy procedure.

Dr. Culp achieved several paper and film awards with fellow Mayo proctologists. He was a member of numerous professional organizations. Dr. Culp served as president of the Northwest Proctologic Society in 1980 and vice president of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons in 1982.

In 1984, Dr. Clyde Culp retired from the Mayo Clinic. During his retirement years, Clyde and Vieno enjoyed numerous worldwide trips, years of wintering in Arizona, and Sand Prairie summers at their cabin on the Mississippi River. In 2000, the couple decided to move back to Rochester.

Survivors include his children, Cathy (Bill) Stecker, of Hillsboro, N.C., Christine Culp, Ph.D., of Spokane, Wash., Kurt (Jill) Culp, of Rochester; daughter-in-law, Cathy Diessner Culp, of Temple, Texas; 14 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Vieno; his son, Kim S. Culp, M.D.; and brother, Perry S. Culp Jr.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the caring professionals Dr. Clyde Culp interacted with during his final days at Saint Marys Emergency Department, seventh floor Trauma Intensive Care Unit and the Palliative Care Team.

A very special THANK YOU to Nancy Bernard, L.P.N., for the past seven years of compassion, personal care and humor she gave our parents, Clyde and Vieno.

Memorials are suggested to the American Red Cross or American Cancer Society.

Macken Funeral Home handled the cremation of his body. The family plans a celebration of life memorial service in June.

Obituary courtesy of Rochester Post-Bulletin