ShareThis Page

How to spell Father's Day: K-I-D-S

| Saturday, June 15, 2013, 1:46 a.m.
Laura Szepesi | for the Daily Courier
Perry and Nina Culver have more family memorabilia than many families as evidenced by these scrapbooks that contain Culver family history dating back more than 350 years. The Connellsville couple has seven children, 13 grandchildren and three great-great-grandkids.
Perry Culver Sr. (left), 87, has plenty to celebrate this Father Day including 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His 18-year-old great-grandson Haden Culver (second from left) graduated from Connellsville Area High School on June 6 70 years after Perry Culver Sr., a longtime local teacher and administrator, graduated from Dunbar Township High School. Also shown is Haden’s dad, Andrew Culver (second from right), the oldest son of Perry Culver Jr. (right).

Kids, kids, kids. His kids. Grandkids. Great-grandkids. School kids.

That's Perry Culver Sr.'s life in a nutshell.

The 87-year-old Connellsville resident's life has been kids — kids at home and in the classroom.

Culver came from a family of seven kids, and that's how many — seven — he and his wife, Nina, raised. Their brood has thus far produced 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, including 18-year-old great-grandson Haden Culver, who graduated on June 6 — 70 years to the date his great-grandpa Culver received a diploma from Dunbar Township High School.

Father's Day is always a big day at the Culver homestead. There's plenty to celebrate.

It's easy to list Perry Culver Sr.'s academic achievements. He holds several degrees in education from several universities. He was trained in cursive handwriting from P.O. Petersen, an art form largely abandoned in today's technological school systems, which he laments. He doesn't dabble in email or eBay, yet he was the educator who saw to it that Connellsville Area School District entered the computer age back in the 1970s. A longtime math teacher — instructing algebra, trigonometry and geometry as well as general math — he served as curriculum director for the school district for more than 20 years, retiring in 1987.

Through it all, he kept one thing in mind above all else: “What is best for the kids?”

His other achievements — those of family ties — come from the heart.

He met his wife Nina after World War II, during which he served with the 1st Marine Division in the South Pacific. Nina grew up in Oakland, Md., which is where Culver got his first job as a teacher after earning his degree at Bethany College in West Virginia.

“I met him, and that was it,” recalled Nina, 84, of their first date.

They married in 1952 and that same year, moved back to the Connellsville area, where Culver grew up. He was born in 1925 in Leisenring, and his family moved to Brookvale, a suburb of the village of Trotter, which is a suburb of Connellsville.

He and Nina have lived in several Connellsville area homes during the past 60 years or so — most of those years on Connellsville's South Side. Seven children and 16 grandchildren/great-grandchildren later, they feel blessed.

“We could not have asked for more,” said Nina Culver, who proudly keeps track of her husband's family legacy — a quest that can be traced back 350 years to Culver's English roots.

“Our lives have been wonderful,” added Perry Culver Sr., who looks forward to celebrating Father's Day with his family on Sunday.

Laura Szepesi is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.