Laguna remembers Robin Culp with a paddle out on Brooks Street Beach

Robin Aaron Culp was born on February 26, 1971, in the small seaside community of Carmel, Calif. Soon after, Culp and his family moved to Laguna Beach, where he grew up.

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Courtesy of the Culp Family

Robin Aaron Culp

He spent his childhood surfing and developing friendships at Thalia and Brooks street beaches along with the Boys & Girls Club in the canyon.

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach Fire Dept. was represented by (L-R) Firefighter Logan Strook, Fire Captain David Lopez and Fire Engineer Jeffrey White

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Early arrivals for the paddle out 

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Brandy Faber, organizer of the paddle out

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Robert Jones

As an avid and ripping surfer, Culp became passionate for many other sports including skimboarding, skateboarding, snowboarding, fishing and mountain biking. A lifelong waterman and competitor, Culp’s smooth style was well recognized and loved in the surfing community and won him multiple local surf and skimboard competitions. The ocean and surfing played a huge role throughout Culp’s life with many surf trips to Hawaii, Tavarua and Baja. He owned property on the North Shore of Oahu, where he visited often with his loving family.

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Madison Culp (on right) and friend

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Time to get hit the waves

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Paddling out

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Katie Culp and her son Jackson

After graduating high school in the summer of 1989, Culp attended Saddleback College. He witnessed the devastating destruction of the 1993 Laguna Beach Fire firsthand, and made the decision to begin his career of service to the community and trained to become a firefighter.

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Brandy Faber (second from left), Katie Culp (second from left) and Jackson Culp (second from right)

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(L-R) Brahm Moore and Jason Watson

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Cam Boyd

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Katie Culp enters the water for the paddle out

Culp served the National City Fire Department, Carlsbad Fire Department and Orange County Fire Authority over the past 25 years. He served as a Firefighter Paramedic, Fire Apparatus Engineer, Fire Captain/Paramedic and was a member of the technical rescue team and FEMA Ca-Task Force 5. Culp was well respected in the department and had a reputation as a first-class leader who brought a sense of calm to his fire crews whether in an emergency situation or at the station.

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OC Fire Authority fly by

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A paddle out to remember

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Large crowd participates

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A time for splashing

Culp and his wife Katie have been happily married for 23 beautiful years and raised their two children together – son Jackson, age 20 and daughter Madison, age 18. Culp was a dedicated family man and a loving friend to all. He will be remembered for his selfless nature and generosity. Simply put “Robin was the coolest.”

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Lifeguard boat

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Trying to get back 

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Crowd surfing to shore

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Surfing antics 

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Friends say “goodbye” as the tide comes in

Robin Aaron Culp passed away peacefully with his family and friends by his side on March 4, 2024, at the age of 53 after a courageous six-month battle with lung cancer.

He is survived by his wife Katie, son Jackson, daughter Madison, his mother Sharon Ashauer, brother Ryan Ashauer and stepfather Hans Ashauer.


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