Culpepper's adoptive mother passes away

Updated: May 6, 2007, 8:45 PM ET
Associated Press

OCALA, Fla. -- Emma Culpepper, the adoptive mother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper, has died. She was 92.

Daunte Culpepper told The Associated Press his adoptive mother died at her home in Ocala on Saturday. The cause of death was not immediately known, but Daunte Culpepper said she suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

He said Emma Culpepper raised as many as 15 children, none of whom was biologically hers.

"She was basically just on a mission always to help people. Anybody that touched her life, she was always trying to better them," said Daunte Culpepper, who has been slowed by 2005 knee surgery. "She instilled some great values in me and let me know it's not where you're at, but where you're going."

Her husband, John Culpepper, died in 1977, the year Daunte Culpepper was born. She took him in when he was a day old, Daunte Culpepper said.

"It was the best thing that happened to me in my whole life," he said. "I never really had a man in my life. She was my mother and my father."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press