Culpepper suffered a massive heart attack over the weekend and died Tuesday night.
It's lunchtime at Station 1 and the guys are slicing onions and peppers for sausage dogs. Seventy-three-year-old Horrie Culpepper, who ate with them regularly, will no longer stop by for a few lunchtime laughs.
Horrie Culpepper was not a firefighter. A childhood illness left him impaired and unable to serve alongside the men and women in blue, but he was always listening to the scanner and arriving on fire scenes to help.
"I'd always give him a hard time when he missed a call. We had a fire at the bowling alley a few weeks ago and didn't show up, so I was raggin' on him about not being there, but he made many a call," said Chief Quillin.
"We had a fire in the winter at the Oaks Apartments. It was below freezing and we were cold and Horrie showed up and made hot chocolate for everybody. He'd either bring hot chocolate or tootsie roll pops. He was always there," said Chief Pena.
Legend around the firehouse is Horrie Culpepper had Power Paks and the Jaws of Life long before they did, so he'd bring them to the scene of countless accidents and fires.
Horrie Culpepper had a guardian. His parents passed away years ago, but his family is large. You can find them in uniform at fire stations all over town. You could find Horrie at the fire station four or five days a week, but he visited the Sheriff’s Department and TPD regularly too. He'll be buried on Friday.
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