Cover photo for Russell L. Culver's Obituary
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Russell L. Culver

After 91 years, Mr. Russell Culver’s journey on Earth moved to the next level, with his passing at Stanford Lodge in Plainwell, on Friday, November 10, 2023.

He was comforted, amazed and frequently amused by the memories of his life. Growing up on the Shelbyville farm established a strong work ethic (as well as a Grand Champion steer); years in the US Air Force, Strategic Air Command, cemented a feeling of proud patriotism (as a photogrammetrist, analyzing aerial photography to produce specialized maps, an interest in photography began to develop); meeting and marrying South Dakota native Sharon McGuire (in 1954) opened the door for a family of his own, with the births of Cindy and Sandra; employment as a heavy equipment operator/mechanic in South Dakota provided opportunities to enjoy the feeling of a job well done-as well as time to study in depth one of his passions—photography!

The purchase of Davis Studios in Otsego and Wayland in 1966 was the perfect opportunity. Settling back in Michigan not only allowed him to be near family and friends, but he could also concentrate on an occupation for which he was passionate and well trained. Countless people in the local area have portraits, senior pictures, or wedding photos in their possession, all examples of his skill and knowledge, and attention to detail in producing just the right image.

Special appreciation is extended to the entire staff at Stanford Lodge in Plainwell, his residence since 2021. There he received loving care and was truly made to feel as if he were one of the family. The amazing team from Centrica Care Navigators (formally Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan) must be recognized for their constant expertise and compassionate care. The entire team was an amazing support group. To Alissa, as his primary care nurse, not enough can be said as to how important you were to him – and all of us – in those final weeks. Thank you to all for your part in ensuring his final days were filled with contentment and peace.

As per his request cremation has taken place and no memorial service will be held.

It is hoped you will remember Russell Culver as a man who enjoyed life, had a special place in his heart for adventure, and was a good, honest, Christian man. His journey now continues with those who have preceded him in death, his wife Sharon and his parents, Gordon and Helen.

Daughters Cindy and Sandra, sister, Ruth Barrows, and extended family members and close friends thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts. Be joyful knowing that now for Russell the lake is always smooth, the fish are always biting, and the light is just right to get that perfect photographic shot.

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Condolence Messages

Holly Lindstrom

November 13, 2023 at 10:32 pm

Cindy, so sorry! Our deepest sympathies! All the Lindstrom’s


Maribeth Culver-Lammas

November 14, 2023 at 6:29 am

Such a nice man. Our sympathies to the family.


Janet Keith Kivell

November 14, 2023 at 9:30 am

Russ and Sharon and their girls were very dear friends to our family. Our condolences to Cindy and Sandi and their families. So glad he has now joined Sharon in their heavenly home.

The Keith family


Patti (Khodl 67' Plainwell) Mrs. Jim Hewitt

November 14, 2023 at 1:24 pm

What a well written obituary/ tribute to Russ Culver. I think in looking back I must have been a client of his at his photo studio at one time or another. Sorry for your loss. Memories and photos will take on an even deeper meaning for you. Hugs to you.


Marie Fredri ckson

November 14, 2023 at 9:49 am

Am very sorry , our sympathies from all the Bohnings. Am so glad(thanks to Internet) to have connected with so many relatives including Russ and Sharon. . What a joy to have met them . The memories of the reunions, trip to the Mall, etc. Hold onto the great memories, Russ Culver family


Robin Bacon

November 15, 2023 at 8:30 pm

Cindy & Sandra,

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. He was always so very kind. I remember our trip with your family on the Milwaukee Clipper and times at your home looking at your turtle. Your parents were always very welcoming. I’m hoping for Gods peace that passes all understanding for your family as you grieve the loss of your dad.

Love & Blessings, Robin (Reich) Bacon


Bev Reich

November 15, 2023 at 8:34 pm

Cindy & Sandra,

I’m so sorry to hear about your dad passing away. I have many fond memories of spending time with your family.

Bev Reich


Len Kling

November 19, 2023 at 2:45 pm

So sorry to hear about Russ! He was a great guy. I enjoyed working with him at Harding’s after he retired from the studio.


Darl and Joyce Gilliland

December 4, 2023 at 6:52 pm

We were saddened to hear about Russ passing away. He did our wedding photos in 1969 and we were and still are so happy with them. He took many of our family photos through out the years.

We’ll always remember him and now he’s reunited with his sweet wife, Sharon. May God bless you and give you comfort.


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