Memorial for attorney to be held

He was the first black Eagle Scout in the Mahoning Valley and Harding’s first black

WARREN — A memorial service for local attorney Fred Culver, who died April 9, will be Saturday at Wellington Funeral Home, 717 N. Park Ave.

Culver was born March 19, 1932, in Warren, the son of James Culver Sr., a prominent union activist and the first black president of the Warren Board of Education.

Fred Culver was the first black Eagle Scout in the Mahoning Valley (Explorer Post 302 at First Methodist Church) and the first black valedictorian of Warren G. Harding, in the January class of 1950.

He was awarded a full scholarship to Amherst College, and graduated cum laude in 1954 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science.

He enlisted in the Air Force as a 2nd lieutenant and was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. He was honorably discharged in 1956.

Culver attended law school at The Ohio State University from which he graduated in June 1960, ranking 11th in his class. He was the first junior law student to work in the Reference Bureau of the Ohio General Assembly. He was licensed by the Supreme Courts of Ohio and California, and was a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.

His career

Culver worked for many years on legal treaties for Matthew Bender Law Publishing in California, and this work led to his extensive involvement in drafting the amendments to the California Workers’ Compensation statutes. In Ohio, he was an attorney for General Motors Legal Services and Northeast Ohio Legal Services.

Expected to attend the memorial are Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Burt Griffin, a classmate who was appointed by Amherst to represent the College since President Anthony Marx is in England; Dean Nancy Rogers from Ohio State Law School; Gary Erlinger, from the Greater Western Reserve Council for Boy Scouts of America; officers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; a representative from LexisNexis where Culver worked for years at Matthew Bender, which Lexis acquired; and local members of the bar and bench, as well as city and county officials.

“Fred Austin Culver is a man who we honor among our Amherst alumni,” said Marx, Amherst president.

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