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Remembering Pat Culver Battle

Notes From Your City Historian
by Julie Lugo Cerra

Many of us enjoyed the friendship of Pat Culver Battle and I am sure we all appreciated the time she took to act as the Culver family emissary to Culver City.

Pat’s death in December, 2001, left a great void in our lives. After a rain, we often see rainbows, and it felt like Pat was sending a rainbow when the Rev. Dr. John Battle, Pat’s elder son, spent some time in Culver City with his family recently.

The Battles, who live in Washington state, arrived in Culver City on Thursday, March 7, 2002. John and his wife Tammie flew in with all four of their children, Becky, Robert, Amy and Eva. Amy and Eva are in college, Robert is studying for his PhD. and Becky is teaching. This was their first trip to the city founded by John’s grandfather, Harry Culver.
The Battles stayed in the landmark Culver Hotel, completed by Culver in 1924. They saw his restored office on the second floor, and toured the city. They walked the historic Sony Pictures lot, land that Harry Culver made available to Thomas Ince for our first major movie studio.
They also saw the Culver family home that was moved from Delmas Terrace to Club Drive in Cheviot Hills. We took pictures there and under a “Patricia Avenue” street sign (see photo). Culver named the street in honor of his “little darling” daughter.

Kirk Judy arranged for a local memorial service at the Grace Lutheran Church on Saturday afternoon, March 9th. Dr. John Battle gave a remarkable eulogy. Mayor Ed Wolkowitz called Pat “the first daughter of Culver City.” Others who shared memories included Pat’s eldest grandchild, Becky, and locals Syd Kronenthal, Sam Cerra, Susan Gregory, Brian Bumpas, Kirk Judy, Cathy Zermeno and Lorraine Henderson.

Following the memorial, The Culver Hotel graciously hosted a reception with food provided by the Historical Society members. The Hamilton High School Alumni Association, headed by Brian Bumpas, helped with many aspects of this trip. When Dolly Balin played the piano, she drew Ethel Ashby, Becky Battle and others to join in song (see photo). Special thanks to the many who helped make this a special trip for Pat’s son and family.

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