The gift of time
Published 1:20 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Most people think about retiring long before they reach the age of 76, but not Margaret Culliver.
Culliver has raised three children and worked all her life. She is not one to retire to sit by the fire and take life easy.
In 2003 she received the Award of Excellence Volunteer and Family Support; in 2004 she won the Ambassador Support Volunteer award and in 2005 she received the award for Volunteer of the Year.
She has been involved with some sort of volunteer work for many years. She worked with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program for a long time before her involvement with Covenant Hospice, where she is now.
It is not a full time job but she is available when she is needed to help out with some patient.
It has been one of those “southern things” for a long time to be there to help in the community and that is Culliver's role. She visits the sick, sits with those who are homebound, makes phone calls for them and visits those in the hospital and the nursing home.
Culliver was born in the little community of Johnsonville, which is between Brooklyn and Castleberry. Her father was a farmer during the growing season and worked at T.R. Miller Mill the rest of the year. She was the oldest of five children and attended Sandy Grove Elementary School. She also attended high school but didn't graduate. She married Grant Culliver and moved to the Damascus area of Escambia County instead of finishing school and later got her GED at Jefferson Davis Community College.
She got a job cooking at the lunchroom at Boykin School for a while but she began staying at home when her children came along. She and her husband had three children, Minnie, Grantt and Sheryl. When Sheryl started school, Culliver knew that she had to get out and do something else.
She got a job with the Community Action Program driving a van and doing clerical work. She had that job for 15 years and then worked for home health for Escambia County as a Medicaid waiver.
After a year with the county, the hours were cut, and she had to get another job. This time it was with the Escambia County Extension Service in parent education. This meant she went into homes and taught parenting skills.
After 10 years, there were no longer any funds available for her work.
She really didn't retire. She got a job sitting with an elderly lady who was homebound for the next two years before joining Covenant Hospice.
She was given her awards because of her love for her work and it showed. The awards banquet was held in April during National Volunteer Week.
Culliver still lives in the Damascus area. Her husband died when their youngest daughter was still in college. She spends her time helping others and still has the time to spend with her family and her church, Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
She has five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She has seen all three of her children succeed in their lives. Her son, Grantt, is the warden at Holman Prison in Atmore and her daughter, Minnie, is the magistrate at Daleville. Her daughter, Sheryl, lives in Huntsville and is vice president of Will Technology.
Culliver says she doesn't regret how hard she has worked, especially with her children.
She is enjoying her life, helping others. She also enjoys her time at home where she has a collection of angels to keep her company.
She even has a large angel standing in her front yard, and it is clear that she has an angel looking on as she does her best to make others have an easier life.