Merlin Eugene Culver passed away in his sleep on January 17, 2013. He was 88 years old.
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Merlin was born on June 18, 1924 in Mount Vernon, Washington. He lived his entire life in the Burlington-Edison area. He was a member of the last graduating class of the historic Edison High School in 1942.
He served in the U. S. Marine Corp as an aircraft mechanic from 1942 to 1945 and was stationed in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.
He met and married the love of his life Sheila (Sally) Louise Billinge on February 20, 1948. They were married for 56 years.
After the war, he went to work as a truck driver for Skagit County. Then in 1955, he was part of the very first set of employees hired at the then brand new Shell Oil refinery. He retired from the refinery in 1982 at the age of 58. In his retirement life, he and Sally began traveling. They were longtime snowbirds to Arizona (18 years). They also RV'd to Alaska for several fishing trips and visited Hawaii on several occasions as well.
Merlin enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf, basketball, bowling, and baseball. He both shot a "Hole in One" and bowled a perfect 300 game! In his later years, he could always be found watching some sporting event on TV. He was always very well informed about current sports. He very much enjoyed watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren perform in sporting events.
Above all, he loved his family very much. Merlin and Sally's home at the mouth of the Samish River was the place the family always congregated for holidays, birthdays, and to play on the river during the summer.
He is survived by his son David Culver (Gail), and daughters Vicky Bishop (Malcolm), and Debbie Clark (Larry). Grand children Peter Bishop (Julie), Amy Kelley (Eldon), Tami Karchesky (Chris), Jame Witzel (Ken), Matthew Bishop (Sonia), Tyler Kerlee (Tracey). Great grandchildren: Ken, Beth, and Paul Kelley; Colby and Macy Bishop; Michael, Malcolm, and Nathan Karchesky; Kyle and Dylan Witzel; Mason and Kaleb Bishop; and Jaymin and Rilyn Kerlee.
He was preceded in death by his wife Sally; his parents Leo and Esther Culver; and his siblings Leland, Lloyd, Marjorie, and Robert.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Disabled Veterans of America.
Graveside services with full military honors at Bow Cemetery January 24th at 1:30 PM followed by a celebration of life at Burlington Golf and Country Club at 3 PM.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hulbush Funeral Home of Burlington.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on January 21, 2013