Walter Green Culverhouse Jr., 83, veteran county extension agent

Walter Culverhouse never owned a farm, but he studied agriculture in college and taught others how to tend the land.

For 30 years, he was a University of Georgia cooperative extension agent assigned to counties in the northeast, assisting farmers and working with youth involved in 4-H.

"My dad managed 4-H kids in every county he worked in," said Greg Culverhouse, a son from Cartersville. "Three of the pallbearers are 4-Hers from Gainesville and Dalton."

On Jan. 13, Walter Green Culverhouse Jr. of  Cartersville died from complications of prostate cancer at Maple Ridge Nursing Home. He was 83. A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday at Cartersville's Heritage Baptist Church. Owen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

During the Great Depression, Mr. Culverhouse trapped and sold rabbits to raise lunch money for him and his sister. The family moved from the Macon area to Cartersville after his father secured a gas station job.

Mr. Culverhouse earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics and master's degree in agricultural extension from the University of Georgia. He taught and served as a principal in Pickens County, where he was known for a love of bicycles, an interest that rubbed off on Tom McMurrain of Roswell.

"He taught me how to work on them," Mr. McMurrain said, "and to this day I have never been without a bicycle."

As a cooperative extension agent, Mr. Culverhouse was assigned to Dalton, Gainesville and Cartersville. Wherever the World War II veteran worked, he mentored boys and girls in the 4-H programs.

Mr. Culverhouse's sons, Greg and Jeff, spent summers at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center near Eatonton, and both were national district project winners.

"He'd pick up kids in his 1961 Ford Falcon," Greg Culverhouse said. "He was just a good, honest decent American man. I was always proud of him."

"He was a father to so many boys, you can't imagine," Jeff Culverhouse said.

In 1985, the extension agent retired and had plans to run for town mayor until his first wife of 36 years, Betty Jean Low Culverhouse, became ill. She died of ovarian cancer in 1988.

Mr. Culverhouse was a UGA faculty member from 1967 to 2000. He was past president of the UGA School of Agriculture Alumni Society  and the Cartersville Rotary Club. He was a charter member of the Booth Western Art Museum.

In the early 1980s, the retired extension agent started the Downtown Farmers Market in Cartersville which operates during the summer. He maintained a vegetable garden and shared his produce with friends.

"He always had the biggest gardens in town," Greg Culverhouse said. "He'd always wanted to be a farmer, but it was just too expensive to buy the land."

Additional survivors include his wife of 20 years, Carol Holden Bentley Culverhouse of Cartersville; stepdaughters Trudy Adamson of  Bradenton, Fla., and Laurie Hill of East Sussex, England; four grandchildren, and five step-grandchildren.

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