Vivian Culin


Known as “the lady with the flower in her hair” at Treyton Oak Towers, Wendy Culin, 96, died peacefully on July 12, 2019. 

Born Vivian Wendeborn in Portland, Ore., she enjoyed sports and playing the ukulele. After high school, she climbed Mount Hood, and moved to New York to be with her sister Ellie. While working in New York, Vivian was nicknamed “Wendy,” and met her future husband, fellow Oregonian and architect Nembhard (“Nem”) Culin.

Wendy was a dedicated and loving wife and mother. The four Culin children grew up in a home Nem designed and built in White Plains, N.Y. Wendy sang her children to sleep and organized yearly trips, camping from Maine to North Carolina or traveling to the West Coast. 

In 1968, Wendy and Nem journeyed around the world in 60 days, with adventures recorded in Wendy’s journal and scenes richly captured in Nem’s watercolors, including a houseboat stay in the Vale of Kashmir and a visit to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. In 1973, they retired to Martha’s Vineyard, where together they built a solar-heated house of Nem’s design, and Wendy grew awardwinning organic vegetables. 

Wendy came to Louisville, Ky. in 2005, where she continued to enjoy friends, music, and travel, smiling through it all! Wendy’s family is grateful to her caretakers, and to the staff of Treyton Oak Towers and Hosparus.

Wendy was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Nem Culin; her granddaughter Sharee Culin; sister Ellis Pruess; and brother Steve Rison. She is survived by her children, Cassandra Culin (Kyle Ellison), Louisville; Lenore Culin [de Steiguer], Nosara, Costa Rica; Taylor Culin (Helene (“Billee”), Sun City, Ariz.; Raynsford Culin (Janis Colella), White Plains; her grandchildren Annabel Sclippa, Kris Culin (Jenny), Peter Culin (Rachel), and Alice Culin-Ellison; and her great-grandchildren Nathan and Agnes Culin.

Wendy’s life will be celebrated at 10:30 am on August 24, 2019, at the First Unitarian Church, 809 South. 4th St., in Louisville, Ky.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Employee Fund at Treyton Oak Towers, 211 West Oak St., Louisville, KY 40203, or to the charity of your choice.