Shirley Brendel Culver, 89, of Valencia, passed away Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, at St. Barnabas Nursing Home in Gibsonia. She was born May 14, 1927, in Pittsburgh, to Carl (Cuddles) and Catherine Brendel. Shirley grew up in Pittsburgh's North Side and graduated from Oliver High School. After graduation, she obtained a bachelor's degree in art from Chatham College in Pittsburgh and later a master's degree in special education from Penn State University. Shirley worked with special needs children as a classroom teacher with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit for 30 years. She married Arthur Schmitt Culver to whom she had four children, Stephen, Arthur, Thomas and Christine. She adored her role as a mother and maintained beautiful and fun loving relationships with each of her children throughout their lives. She loved cooking for others, entertaining, playing the piano and tearing up to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett. Her immense appreciation of the simple things in her life kept her happy and content as she lived alone in her house on the hill overlooking the horses in the pastures until just one month before her departure. Shirley is survived by her son, Thomas, of Asheville, N.C.; her daughter, Christine and her husband, Thomas Owens, of Mars; grandchildren, Sarabeth Weber and her husband, Ryan Weber, Emily Dunn, Brenden Culver and Lauren Culver; and her great-grandchildren, Raegan, Camden and Kyleigh. She also is survived by her best friend of 81 years, Anna Lou Poole. Shirley was preceded in death by her sons, Stephen and Arthur Culver. Friends will be received from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the McDONALD-AEBERLI FUNERAL HOME INC., 238 Crowe Ave., Mars. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home. To honor Shirley, the family requests that you turn on your favorite music and raise a toast to a beautiful person who never once forgot how beautiful the gift of her life was. Directions and condolences are available at www.mcdonald-aeberli.com .
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