Kenneth Harry CulverOctober 5, 1922 ~ May 5, 2017 (age 94)
Longtime Sunnyside resident, Kenneth Harry Culver, age 94, went home to his Savior on Friday, May 5, 2017. Born on October 5, 1922 to Edward and Ethel (Lufborough) Culver in Jordan, South Dakota, Ken was the fifth of seven children. In 1936, the family loaded their belongings in their Hutmobile and trailer, and moved to Sunnyside, Washington in search of farm work.
In 1943, Ken met his future love, Wanda Walker, a waitress at the Home Café in downtown Sunnyside. After leaving a generous five-dollar tip that first night, he started visiting the café every evening. Ken and Wanda were married on January 8, 1944. Their son, Stephen Culver, was born in 1949.
Ken grew up doing farm work alongside his family. After attending school in Sunnyside, he worked in production at Marathon packaging for seven years. He spent the next 25 years with the Sunnyside School District, working first as a bus driver and then as a custodian. Ken, whose dream was to be a truck driver, was the 1968 winner of the School Bus Rodeo, an annual challenge course run by the Central Washington Schools Transportation Association. He passed on his skills and love for driving to his son and grandson, who both went on to fulfill that dream of driving a truck.
Ken loved his Savior, Jesus Christ, and attended the Sunnyside Church of God for many years. There he served as an usher and did janitorial work. Ken was a quiet and thoughtful man, who cared about details and helping others. He enjoyed going to church, camping with family, gardening, and playing card games – especially cribbage with his grandsons.
Ken is survived by his wife, Wanda; son Stephen (Deena) Culver of Sunnyside; grandchildren Treena (Chad) Patzke of Tigard, Oregon, and Joshua (Sarah) Culver of Sunnyside; granddaughter-in-law Denise Culver of Kennewick, Washington; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and all of his siblings, as well as his grandson, Caleb Culver.
A graveside service for Ken will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at the Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside. Donations may be made in Ken’s honor to the Union Gospel Mission. Those wishing to sign Ken’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Homes in care of arrangements.