Cover photo for Phillip Franklin Culver's Obituary

Phillip Franklin Culver

Phillip (Phil) Franklin Culver passed away at his home in Sun Lakes, Arizona on March 14, 2023, at the age of 83.  Phil was born in a tiny little house in Sayre, Oklahoma on July 6,1939 to Dwight Wesley and Birdie Josephine (Beavers) Culver.

His family was very poor, and he spent long days during his childhood in the cottonfields.  As a young boy, he also made a little money singing over the radio on Saturdays. He graduated high school in Elk City, Oklahoma and joined the Army Reserves soon after.  That took him to the Four Corners area, where he met and married Ernestine Madrid in 1960.  Together they had three children.  They spent a few years in Farmington, New Mexico, until he went to work for Shell Oil Company, which took him and his family to places like Houston and McCamey, Texas, and Donaldsonville, Louisiana. He finally settled his family in Farmington, where he retired after 27 years with Arizona Public Service.

Phil spent a lot of time farming seven acres with his wife and kids, close to the family home.  For a few years they raised a five-acre garden of every vegetable you can imagine and sold them to several local grocery stores.  Every day they would have a new list of bushels to fill.  It was a family affair that took all five of them to keep it running smoothly.

Phil loved the outdoors and at any chance, spent time hunting and camping in Colorado, until he was introduced to the great state of Alaska.  In the early 80s he bought a piece of property in Sterling, Alaska and built a cabin, where he spent his days fishing and playing pinochle with some of his favorite people.  He enjoyed making memories there every summer until he could no longer physically make the trip.  He then lived with his partner Shirley Pechous in Sun Lakes, Arizona until the time of his death.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Earl and Emmitt Culver, and sister Clara Culver.  He is survived by his sister Christena Hauser, Amarillo, Texas; three children, Michael (Simone) Culver, Michelle (Ernest) DeAnda, and Christina Culver, all from Farmington; six grandchildren, Adam (Amanda) Henley of Farmington, A.J. (Gina) Henley of Denver, Courtney Nelson of Nashville, Dani (Ty) Davis of La Plata, Alicia (John) Zaremba and Adam Zaremba of Durango, Colorado. He was also blessed with eleven great-grandchildren, Angeleena, Brayden, Jace and Maverick Henley, Jack and Quinn Henley, Lane Davis, Zade, Reu, Isla and Rio Zaremba. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Phil was truly loved and will be greatly missed.

Phil had asked that his ashes be spread in Sterling, Alaska.  Friends and family will be notified when plans have been made. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in honor of Phil, to his favorite charity, Tunnel to Towers.
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