Mary Eva Culver went singing among the eternal stars in the firmament on Feb. 5, 2021, at the age of 93. She was born in 1927 in Cottage Grove to Fred Lammers and Mary Ellen Anderson. On their old Camp Creek 12-acre farm, her family lived the maxim “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” She attended Hayden Bridge Grade School and in 1940 she began Springfield High School.
During high school, she met Bob Culver who was soon after drafted into the Army. After six months of guarding the Panama Canal, he came home on furlough and they were engaged. During WWII, Bob sent Mary Eva 317 love letters. They wed in the Spring of 1946 in a church filled with daffodils. They would have celebrated their 75th Anniversary next month.
In the early years of marriage, Mary Eva completed her Junior Certificate with Honors at the University of Oregon. They bought property on Game Farm Road and were gifted a bucket of used nails. She hammered the nails straight each night for Bob to use the next day as they built their home. They raised a family of five sons and one daughter. One son, baby John, died in infancy. Mary Eva kept a promise to herself to return to school, graduating from the University of Oregon in 1978 with a degree in Community Service and Public Affairs, with an emphasis on mental health.
Mary Eva was a pioneer in the mental health field, blazing the trail for families in need of services. She was among the first group of nationwide parents who formed what is known today as the National Association for Mental Illness. She testified in front of state legislators to improve laws for mental health care. She received awards for local leadership. In the early 80’s she ran the Lucy Booth at the Saturday Market offering free counseling and support to those in need.
She became a Friend of the Eugene Public Library and was elected to the board. As the chairperson of magazine sales, she generated $75,000 to update the Eugene Public Library on 10th St., where it stands today.
Mary Eva loved Genealogy. She found 75 first cousins, many of whom she met at reunions in the hills and hollows of the Appalachians. Her mother was the descendent of Scotch Irish settlers, the Wilson sect of the Gunn Clan, who made their way into Kentucky following the trail of Daniel Boone through the Cumberland Gap.
Mary Eva loved History, especially Native American, Black History, and The Civil War. She spent a decade as a docent for the Shelton-McMurphy House in Eugene, where she often hosted storytelling events for children while dressed in vintage clothing.
She was a baseball fan who would not answer the phone if the game was on. She loved the Chicago Cubs and never missed the World Series.
She wished for her ashes to be spread among the Redwoods and will be celebrated by family members in the summer. Her family are: husband Robert, children: David & Janet, Mary Ellen & Eddie, Chris, Joe & Kelly, Tim, and Paul & Nora, grandchildren: Heatherly, Andrea and George, John, Austin, and Trevor, great-grandchildren Danny and Caleb.
She had extended her love to others by “adopting” them into her family. Her goddaughter Pricilla, caretaker Cari, and neighbor Deb were like daughters.
Mary Eva loved animals and Memorial Contributions may be made to Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene OR # 541-689-1503.
Mary Eva always brought the sunshine and found the rainbow after the Oregon rain. A caring person, she was determined to watch over her family members until the end of her days on Earth, and to watch over those she cherished even from the Heavens, where her own star is shining.