Cover photo for Joan Marie Culbertson's Obituary
Joan Marie Culbertson Profile Photo
1935 Joan 2024

Joan Marie Culbertson

May 27, 1935 — February 14, 2024

Davenport Barrington

Eternally positive. For 88-plus years, that was Joan.  It’s hard not to be an optimist when your only chance at life hinged on an immigrant from Germany (Josephine) and another from Portugal (Hilario) ending up in the same Colorado city.  Joan Marie Culbertson, age 88, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, with her loving family by her side.

Joan was born on May 27, 1935, in Denver, CO. She grew up on South Gaylord Street within walking distance of Church, Washington Park, and Bonnie Brae which included a Dolly Madison Ice Cream Parlor.  Her sister Alberta and brother Paul along with her parents helped guide her through a childhood that included school at St. Vincent De Paul and St. Francis De Sales High School.  Her school years were filled with meeting lifelong friends, strict nuns, summertime in Washington Park, and weekend trips to the mountains.  Her first job was at a movie theatre down the street, and she graduated from high school in 1953.  The college years were spent in Atchison, Kansas at what is now Benedictine College.  She excelled in Math, English, and socializing.

After college, she got a job at the Martin Company in the Computer section for $375 a month.  Back then computers were people.  It was here that she met the man of her dreams, Glen Culbertson.  Glen was in the computer field as well and as it turns out would be very good at programming the electronic type of computer.  That skill served him well for the rest of his life.  The two dated for a while and on December 27, 1958, they were married in the church that Joan grew up going to.  Here’s where the fun begins.  Glen and Joan produced 4 children in under 5 years in 3 different states (4 cities).  Colleen came along in October of 1959 (Denver).  David arrived a little over a year later in November of 1960 (San Jose, CA).  Anne was born in May of 1962 (Salt Lake City).  Finally, Matthew arrived in May of 1964 (Los Angeles, CA).  Through what must have been a very challenging time Joan's faith, positive attitude, and trust in Glen got her through it all. After one more move to Los Alamos, NM, they arrived back in Colorado in 1966 where they settled into a house on South Leyden Street.

Loving, supportive, and present are some pretty good words to describe both Glen and Joan as parents, friends, and neighbors.  With Glen hard at work, Joan managed the house and the kids.  Through the school years with projects, concerts, church events, sporting events, and family outings to the mountains or long road trips in the summer.   At times, Glen was the 5th kid with softball games all summer long and bowling during the winter months.  Joan would attend most of those games as well and most of the time she would be keeping the score and cheering (loudly).  When Glen decided to start his own company, the first thing he did was write a computer program that would manage bowling leagues.  Joan managed that part of the business with Matt and Anne doing the data entry and driving to just about every bowling alley in town twice a week to pick up and drop off scoresheets.  Joan and Glen participated in mixed bowling leagues up until their 80’s.    The later years were spent doing a bit of traveling and spending as much time as possible with her kid's families, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Eternally positive is Joan.  When a fall in January signaled the beginning of the end, her words to me in a conversation shortly after the fall were “This too shall pass.”  The memories though will live on in everyone that knew her.

Joan is survived by her loving children, Colleen Seeger, David (Judy) Culbertson, Anne (Frank) Goldsmith, and Matt (Cara) Culbertson; grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and her sister Alberta Ryan.

Preceded in death by her beloved husband of 60 years, Glen William Culbertson; parents, Hilario and Josephine Carvalho; and her brother Paul.

A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, March 16 at 11:00 am at Pax Christi Catholic Church, 10675 Jaguar Dr, Lone Tree, CO.  Joan always made it well known that Black is not allowed at her funeral.  Please wear bright colors to honor her bright spirit!

In lieu of flowers, donations in Joan’s name may be made to The Denver Rescue Mission –

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Marie Culbertson, please visit our flower store.


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