Carl E. "Gene" Culiver, 77, of New Harmony, Ind., passed away Wednesday, September 11, at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, following a lengthy illness. He was born August 20, 1936, to Carl G. and Erna M. (Fisher) Culiver in New Harmony. He retired in 2002 as Assistant Superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Mt. Vernon. He began his career in education in 1961 as a business teacher at Mt. Vernon High School and served the Mt. Vernon school system for 41 years. Highlights of his career as director of the school system's building and grounds include remodeling the Mt. Vernon Senior High School, building the new junior high school, remodeling Marrs Elementary School and the former Hedges Elementary School, building the school district's bus garage and tearing down of the old junior high school.
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A graduate of New Harmony School, Gene served his country from 1954 to 1957 in the United States Marine Corps and proudly lived the motto "Once a Marine, Always a Marine." In his younger years, he was a roughneck in the oil fields of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming and Montana. A graduate of Indiana State University in Terre Haute, he held a Master of Science degree in Education and was certified as a school guidance counselor. In 2002, he was presented the Distinguished Hoosier Award by Governor Frank O'Bannon.
Gene was a member of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon, Ind. He previously served on the executive committee of the Indiana Association of School Business Officials Region 9 and was named the Association's School Business Official of the Year in 2002. He was a former member of the Posey County Emergency Planning Committee, the American Association of School Administrators, the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, and was treasurer of the Administrative Study Council of Southwestern Indiana. He also served on the board of directors of Western Hills Country Club, Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce and Alexandrian Free Public Library. Gene was a current member of the Economic Development Partnership of Posey County, treasurer of the Working Men's Institute Executive Committee; served on the executive committee of the Ribeyre Gymnasium Restoration Group and Harmonie Associates board of trustees. He was a Lifetime Member of American Legion Owen Dunn Post #5.
During retirement, along with his involvement in many community activities, Gene enjoyed the remodeling of two homes in New Harmony, recreational vehicle travels in the United States, five vacation tours in Europe, and the fellowship he and his "buddies" experienced while attending Deaconess cardiac rehab three mornings each week.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Phyllis (Pfister) Culiver, and an infant daughter, Carla.
Survivors include his wife of 20 years Karen (Schoolcraft) Walker, sons, Tim (Bridget) Culiver, Evansville, Ind., Mike Culiver, Newburgh, Ind., daughter, Dee Ann (Dave) Wylam, Ferdinand, Ind.; daughters by marriage, Leah (Kelly) Cox, Mt. Vernon, Ind., Amy (Dan) Vonder Haar, Chesterfield, Missouri; sister, Virginia Sue (Donnie) Alsop, New Harmony, Ind.; 10 grandchildren, Ashley Wager, Abby Culiver, Ali Wylam, Joshua Stierley, Kyle, Jeremy, Kate and Caroline Cox, Riley and Walker Vonder Haar, two great-grandchildren, Kylee and Brayden Cox; and aunts, Betty Jo Fisher, Midland, Mich., and Joyce Rudisill, Grayville, Ill.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, at 11 a.m., at St. Matthew Catholic Church, Mt. Vernon, Ind. Interment with full military honors will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, New Harmony, Ind.
Visitation will be Monday, September 16, 2013, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Werry Funeral Home, New Harmony, Ind., and Tuesday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of service. A Rosary will be recited at 3 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ribeyre Gymnasium Restoration Group, P.O. Box 162, New Harmony, IN, 47631 or Wildcats Remembered, in care of Don Goerlitz, 1776 Tulare Avenue, Richmond, CA 94805.
Expressions of sympathy may be made at www.werryfuneralhomes.com.
Werry Funeral Homes Inc
615 Brewery St New Harmony, IN 47631
Published in Mount Vernon Democrat on Sept. 18, 2013