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Burbank centenarian recalls storied past

January 31, 2012
  • Geraldine Neva Stallard celebrates her 100th birthday on Jan. 27. (Photo by Susy Shearer)
Geraldine Neva Stallard celebrates her 100th birthday…

Burbank resident Margaret Culver turns 100 years old on Feb. 2.

She was born Margaret Emaline Culver on Feb. 2, 1912 in Winslow, Ariz., five days before Arizona was declared a state. She is the daughter of Eli Lichtenburger Hosler and Gillia La Prade.

Her ancestors emigrated to the United States in the early 1700s. Her father's family was from Switzerland and mother's family from France, with five generations of ancestors being born in the United States.

Culver is the oldest of three sisters who include Thalia who is deceased and Geraldine who is 85 and lives in Arizona.

She grew up in Winslow where she still has very fond memories and great stories of life as a child and teenager. In High school she was a forward for the girl's basketball team from 1924 to 1929.

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She learned to play piano, sew and knit. She loved horses and had one at her grandfather's home. She often rode her horse up and down what later became Route 66. She and her friends would often go swimming in a reservoir at Clear Creek.

During High school she worked at a soda shop where she used a secret recipe to brew root beer. After graduating she worked as “Harvey girl” for a short time at the La Pasada, one of the famous Harvey House restaurants and hotels along the Santa Fe Railroad. She went to work in the offices of the Santa Fe railroad.

In 1931 she was chosen from among many girls to be the first rodeo queen in Winslow, her election was by popular vote, as we can read in the newspaper clippings from that era.

In 1933 she married R.O. (Mickey) Noble in Winslow at sunrise on May 3. They had a son in 1936 in his grandmother's bed and named him Ronald Lee Noble.

They left Arizona to live in other cities following Mickey’s work as a telegrapher along the Santa Fe railroad.

They settled in Burbank in 1943 and she still lives in the home they bought.

She worked for Lockheed before retiring in 1975. She rode horses in Griffith Park until her age prevented her from riding. On some afternoons, she still plays the piano.

In 1954 she married H.E. (Red) Culver. They were married 27 years until his death in 1981.

Culver’s only child Ronald had three children: Kevin Noble, Darlene Martin and Jason Noble. Her five great-grandchildren include Rachael and Michael Noble, Katherine and Talon Martin and Jonathan Layman. Her two great-great-grandchildren by Rachael are McKayla and Hunter.

Compiled by Kelly Corrigan

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