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Judy Flanagan
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Rest In Peace Chief
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By Chief Blaine Leis
December 31, 2017

George Alfred Culbertson – July 27, 1937 – December 12, 2017

On December 12, 2017 we lost our HERO, MENTOR and FRIEND!

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Chief George Alfred Culbertson. At the time of his passing, Chief Culbertson was surrounded by his loving family.

Many knew him as Chief, others knew him as Al, Alfie, GAC and Mr. Culbertson. Most importantly, some knew him as Dad, Brother, Pop Pop and Husband. It wasn’t the way that you knew him or how you addressed him that was important, but the way he made you feel when you said goodbye. He cared about your ideas, your thoughts and most importantly, your ambitions. He made you feel like you were part of a special band of brothers. This insightful treasure is what he taught the firefighters at the Gladwyne Fire Company. He taught them to care about each other, to be kind and to stand as one.

Chief Culbertson joined the Gladwyne Fire Company when he was 16 years old in 1955. He was elected Chief of the Fire Company in 1969 and was a top volunteer responder every year until his retirement from Chief in 2001. After his retirement from the brigade Chief Culbertson remained very active and was an integral part of the Gladwyne Fire Company. He served on multiple committees, the Board of Directors and most of all an avid supporter.

One would be hard pressed to find an individual within the fire service in the Tri-County area that didn’t know Chief Culbertson. He was always spoken of with respect and gratitude. His kind heart and upbeat personality made it difficult to say anything bad about him. Chief Culbertson was an individual of brilliance. His keen sense of problem solving made most tasks obtainable. His desire to teach and problem solve many times would have him involved in major engine / transmission repairs in the engine room. It would not be abnormal to walk into the firehouse and see an engine block or transmission completely removed from a member’s vehicle with Chief Culbertson elbows deep in the repair.

Chief Culbertson was a known pioneer in Lower Merion Township and throughout Montgomery County. He was the President of the Lower Merion Township Fire Chief’s, a founding member of the County 911 Committee, Montgomery County Fire Chiefs Trustee and the Treasurer of the Montgomery County Fire Academy are just a few of his accolades. With motivation and dedication to proudly serve on these committees, he never complained but only continued to search for answers and resolutions to problems. His outlook was always positive and his intentions were aimed at “leaving the place better than you found it”.

It was because of Chief Culbertson’s calm, cool and collect attitude that you could find no better leader on the scene of a fire call. His leadership abilities can still be found in all of us that had the privilege of learning from him and serving under him.

Chief Culbertson was always one step ahead of everybody else on emergency calls and leading the fire company into the future. The Gladwyne Fire Company is a progressive and well-trained group of firefighters that came from the foundation that Chief Culbertson crafted for us and ensured that we believed in as well.

Mrs Culbertson, Andy, Stacey, Riley, Jeff, Melissa and soon to be baby boy; - THANK YOU for sharing your Husband / Father / Pop Pop with all of us for so many years. He touched the lives of countless people over the years and we are all forever grateful. We are all BETTER people for knowing, watching and learning from him.

Chief Culbertson was so very humble and he carried that into his passing. He requested that his service would be for his immediate family only, therefore we made that our priority and the Culbertson’s gathered for a private service earlier in the week.

Please say a prayer and think about Chief Culbertson and his family tonight before going to bed Rest assured he is watching over us, protecting us and teaching us from above, just like he did while he was here with us

We already miss our HERO, MENTOR and FRIEND….

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, YOU ARE A LEADER” – John Quincy Adams

Rest In Peace CHIEF, Thank you for all that you did for all of us, you were our LEADER

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Comment Comment 1 Comment(s)

Jeffrey Wittek December 23, 2017 at 1:36 PM
To the Culbertson Family and to all Gladwyne Fire Company members I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences on the passing of Chief George Culbertson. George was a trusted advisor to the Montgomery County Department of Emergency Dispatch Services, and to me personally, during my tenure as Director of EDS. Chief Culbertson was instrumental in the planning and implementation of the County's 9-1-1 and trunked radio systems. His expert counsel was invaluable in overcoming many large obstacles, both technical and political.

May Chief George Culbertson Rest in Peace.



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1044 Black Rock Road
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