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April 4, 1924 - April 25, 2012 OKLAHOMA CITY Mattie Lee (Hardy) Culver, retired Putnam City teacher, was born in Marietta, Oklahoma, April 4, 1924, the third of five children of Dudley and Ruth (Hollingsworth) (Hardy) Ferguson. She attended public schools at Durant and Fox, Oklahoma, graduating from the latter in 1942. She received a BA degree in music from the University of Oklahoma and an MA degree in elementary education from Oklahoma City University. She continued doing graduate work in science at Oklahoma State University, Southern Nazarene University and the University of Central Oklahoma. She taught piano for 14 years and spent 22 years as a science teacher for Putnam City Schools, teaching at Central Intermediate and Mayfield Junior High. On September 2, 1945, she married Captain Harry S. Culver upon his return from active duty with the Eighth Air Force in Europe in World War II. They were married in McFarlin Methodist Church in Norman, where they had met before the war. Lee was a devout Christian, loving wife and mother. She and Harry were married 59 years before he went ahead of her to be with the Lord. She is survived by her three children: Linda Ruth Slott in Oklahoma City, Dr. Peggy Dubois in Midwest City, and Rev. David Culver of Liberty, Missouri. They had 10 grandchildren: Sarah Bryant, Christie Slott, Daniel Slott, and Kathleen Davis; Becky, Mario, Josh, and Jon Dubois; and Evan and Audrie Culver. Their only great-grandchild so far is McKinsie Slott-Wisdom. However, Peyton Davis is due to be born at the end of May 2012. Lee had one sister, Gayle Smith, of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma; and three brothers: Rev. Andy Hardy of Nashville, Tennessee; Dudley Hardy, Jr. of Minden, Louisiana; and William Carey Hardy of Richardson, Texas. Dudley Hardy, Jr. died in 2000. She and her husband were active in May Avenue Methodist and Grace United Methodist Churches in Oklahoma City, where Harry led the singing and Lee played the piano in their Sunday school classes for many years. During her career, Lee was an active member or officer in many professional, religious, and other organizations, including the OEA, NEA, ACT, AAUW, Kappi Phi, Delta Kappa Gamma, OKC Music Teachers Association, OKC Accredited Piano Teachers Association, Sorosis Club, McDough Music Club, Daughters of American Colonists, and Colonial Dames of the XVII Century. At Grace United Methodist Church, she was active in the United Methodist Women, Fellowship Sunday school class, the Administrative Board, and Care Team. Visitation will be held Sunday, April 29th, from Noon until 8 p.m., at Bill Merritt Funeral Service at 6201 N.W. 39th Expressway in Bethany, Oklahoma. The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 30th, at Grace United Methodist Church at 6316 N. Tulsa Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, followed by a graveside service at Resurrection Cemetery at 7801 Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The family would like to thank the blessed people of Sienna Extended Care and Rehab as well as those from Crossroad's Hospice for the wonderful care they gave Lee during her last years. We also appreciate all the ways that the Grace United Methodist Church Care Team ministered to Lee throughout her life. We give a special thanks to Ethel McCoy and Lisa Retter for their assistance in innumerable ways. We suggest that any memorial gifts in Lee's name be given to the Food Bank or nursing home of your choice as Jesus, after He had arisen, said to Peter, "Feed my children."

Published in The Oklahoman on Apr. 29, 2012
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