Claire Culver Obituary (1931 – 2022) – Santa Rosa, CA – Press Democrat

Claire Wallace Culver
April 12, 1931 – December 21, 2022
It is with profound sadness and broken hearts that we share the death of Claire Viola Wallace Culver. She peacefully slipped into the next dimension on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2022, in the presence of her loving children, their adored spouses, and cherished grandchildren. Through the gracious support of family, caregivers, and Sutter Hospice, she was able to live her life to a peaceful end in the comfort of her own home in Santa Rosa, California.
Claire was born on April 12, 1931, in New Orleans, Louisiana to George and Elise Wallace. She was predeceased by her beloved siblings Carolyn Rogers and George Wallace and is survived by her dear sisters Elaine Morelli and Jean Hickey.
Claire was a tomboy who loved sports, especially basketball, and she was often the first chosen by the neighborhood boys for a game of pick-up basketball. She also played on the high school women’s team and was offered a spot on a professional women’s basketball team, which she declined, as her dream was to be a nurse. Even as a young girl, she was elegant and graceful, though she had a rambunctious spirit. There’s a story of Claire shimmying up the school flagpole in her First Communion dress, likely on a dare.
In 1951, Claire graduated from Charity Hospital School of Nursing, the same nursing school her grandmother, Alexzenia Bethancourt Heseker, graduated from in 1897. Claire worked as an emergency room nurse at Charily Hospital in New Orleans as well as San Francisco General. She volunteered at City of Hope in Southern California while raising her young family. As her children began to leave the nest, Claire worked at Minney’s Ship Chandlery in Newport Beach, California while she returned to school and earned her Nurse Practitioner License at UCLA. Driven to serve, she volunteered at Laguna Beach Free Clinic and finished her career as a Women’s Health Specialist at University of California Irvine Student Health.
Claire was an avid reader and history buff who loved spirited conversation. A generous and talented cook, she warmly opened her home to friends new and old. Driven to protect the environment for future generations, she was an early adopter of water conservation and recycling. She planned and planted beautiful gardens. Claire actively participated in her local community and supported her children’s vast activities. She was a dog lover, especially Brittany Spaniels, and was known to be a wrangler of many a backyard pony. She was a faithful watcher of Sunday football and enjoyed eating a well-made crab cake. She led a life of adventure with many hours spent upon beautiful wooden sailboats, even sailing from Hawaii to Alaska.
Claire provided a safe and stable home which allowed her children and grandchildren to test their wings and soar, while always welcoming them home when they needed a safe place to land. Claire was a devoted mother of five children–Catherine Robinson (James), Colleen Culver Jaffe (Randy), Scott Culver (Suzanne Edwards), Christine Culver (Robert Holt), and Sara Culver-Truby (Michael)–and Nana of six grandchildren: Jeffrey, Amanda, Andrew, Melissa, Benjamin, and Nicole. She was the adopted mother and grandmother of many more who called her Momma Claire.
Claire’s last altruistic act of service was to gift her body to the Willed Body Program UCSF School of Medicine to advance the goals of medical education. In lieu of flowers, Claire would be filled with gratitude if you would consider a donation to Planned Parenthood in her name. To all who loved Momma Claire, we wish you fair winds and following seas.

Published by Press Democrat on Jan. 8, 2023.

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