Edwina Irving Culmer

August 22, 1926January 15, 2021

Edwina Irving Culmer, age 94, of Durham, NC, died Friday, January 15, 2021 at her residence.

Edwina was born in Manhattan in 1926 to Rosaline and Edward Irving. She was the second of three children. During the Depression, Edwina and her older sister were sent to live in Nassau, the Bahamas, with their maternal grandmother. She enjoyed her childhood in Nassau, and who could blame her!

She and her sister returned to New York when she was about ten years old. She later graduated from Wadleigh High School. In 1947, she married Charles Culmer Jr. They made their home in Manhattan, where they raised two daughters – Beverly and Carol. Edwina was employed by the City of New York for most of her career. She began at Bellevue Hospital, and later held clerical and supervisory positions with the Food Stamps program. Edwina retired in 1992.

Edwina moved to Queens, NY in 1975. Edwina joined the Church of the Resurrection, and was quickly engaged in the activities of the Chapel League. She worked with this group for many years, and was an active participant in their fundraising activities.

Edwina was a member of the Guiding Light Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star for over twenty-five years. She served as the matron of the chapter for ten years.

Edwina loved to travel, and visited many countries including Spain, China, Italy, France, and Australia. She especially loved Hawaii.

In 2018 Edwina moved to Durham, NC to be near her daughter Carol.

Edwina is predeceased by her husband Charles, brother Edward Irving, and grandsons Charles Culmer and Felix Culmer.

She is survived by sister Mae Rivers (Columbia, SC), daughter Beverly Bennett (New York, NY), daughter Carol Crosby (Cary, NC), two granddaughters, eight great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held 2:00 PM Monday, January 25, 2021 at Wake Memorial Park in Cary.

Online condolences may be made at


  • Graveside Service

    Monday, January 25, 2021


Edwina Irving Culmer

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Katrina Sams- Culmer

January 24, 2021

Grandma Culmer, you were an Angel on this Earth, so there’s no doubt that you have received your wings as you gracefully entered heaven. Ever since I’ve known you, you always had the sweetest & kindest soul. The first day I was introduced to you, your grandson Felix Sr, took me over to your house in Queens. You had the biggest Rottweiler I have ever seen. (It was Chuck’s dog) and for you to be so little and petite you had that dog under complete control. You told me not to be afraid. Your calm sweet voice assured me it was ok. This just shows how comforting it was to talk to you and be in your presence. I’m so glad we were able to spend time with you and make good memories. Thank you for coming to Virginia to support your great granddaughter on her graduation and I’m happy we were able to come to NC to visit you. Even though we couldn’t bring you any fried chicken that you requested, I’m sure the table set before you in our Father’s house has a feast like no other. Rest Easy. We love you!

Kaela Culmer

January 18, 2021

Dear Grandma Culmer,

Thank you for being such an important part of my life. You took care of me and loved me beyond words. Your kind heart will forever leave a mark on my life and I’m so thankful to have known you. I’m sorry I wasn’t the best grand daughter as far as reaching out more often but I promise I loved you with all my heart. I pray you are in a better place and I hope you’re with daddy. I love you so much grandma, please be my guardian angel. Rest In Peace🕊🙏🏾❤️.

Your grand daughter,
Kaela C