Nature 19

Jessica Marie (Crumley) Culbertson

May 1, 1987 ~ August 30, 2019 (age 32)


PITTSBORO, NC - Jessica “Jessi” Marie (Crumley) Culbertson passed away on Friday, August 30, 2019 at Hock Family Pavilion in Durham, NC.

Jessi was born in Fairfield, AL on May 1, 1987 to Tim and Cherie Crumley. She moved to Lewisville, NC at the age of 5. Jessi graduated from West Forsyth High School in 2005. She earned a degree in Zoo and Aquarium Science from Davidson County Community College in 2012, and later became a graduate of Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences in December 2018.

Jessi met her soulmate, Chad Scott Culbertson, in 2005, and they married on May 18, 2007. Throughout their time together, they lived in Lewisville, Morrisville, Durham, and most recently in Pittsboro, NC. In pursuit of her love for animals and nature, she worked at Animal Hospital West and Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Winston-Salem, NC, and began her career in Zookeeping at the Durham Museum of Life and Science. In March 2015, she began her journey with the North Carolina State Zoo as a Zookeeper in the Northwoods section, working with red wolves, bears, bison, and elk.

Jessi enjoyed exploring her Native American roots and eagerly expressed her heritage using her creative and artistic crafts, along with sharing an interest in knives and blacksmithing with her father.

Jessi was active in the NC chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK), where she most recently helped to coordinate the One Planet People! event at the NC State Zoo, along with a screening of the Straws film showcasing the rising problem of plastic pollution in our oceans and empowering viewers to be a part of the solution. 

Jessi’s work with the grizzly bear Tommo at the NC State Zoo was featured in a Fox 8 News segment, during which she shared her success in training Tommo to cooperate with veterinary examination without the need for sedation.

Jessi was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Ruby and Dallon Hicks, her brother Derek, and her father, Tim Crumley.

Jessi is survived by her husband, Chad Culbertson, her mother, Cherie Crumley, and her paternal grandmother Ruth Turner. Additionally, she is survived by her father-in-law, Scott, mother-in-law, Deejie, and her brothers-in-law, Austin and Blake, as well as a host of extended family and friends and that loved her deeply and supported her through her life’s journey. 

There will be a celebration of life on October 13th @ 2:00 PM  at The Loft at Sunflower Trail, 1131 Eatons Church Road, Mocksville, NC 

Arrangements By: Knotts Funeral Home-Pittsboro

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