Maurine Denise McCulloch

In Loving Memory of

Maurine Denise McCulloch


Maurine Denise Smith McCulloch, 68, of Gainesville, Florida, passed away on July 13, 2020.  Denise was born in Miami Beach, Florida on November 19, 1951 to James and Voncile Smith.

Denise was married to Richard McCulloch in 1970; they were married for 17 years.

She graduated from the University of Florida where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture.

Denise worked as an elementary and secondary art teacher for the Alachua County public schools. She enjoyed cooking, quilting, arts and crafts, and needlework.  She was also actively involved in Girl Scouts including as a professional Girl Scout Organizer.  She was an American Red Cross certified teacher of CPR, first aid, and disaster relief.

Denise is survived by her daughter, Melissa (Jason) Zawada, Gainesville, Florida; her mother, Voncile Smith, Boynton Beach, Florida; her sisters, Camilla (Scott) Richardson, Dallas, Texas; Lyn (Brian) Orletsky, Atlanta, Georgia; Nadine Hartling, Boynton Beach, Florida; and her brother, James (Lynn) Smith, San Antonio, Texas.

She was predeceased by her father, James Smith.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the American Red Cross,

A memorial service will be held at a future date in Gainesville, Florida.

Online Condolences

13 Responses

  1. Camilla Richardson
    Camilla Richardson at · Reply

    Denise, my big sister, it’s so hard to believe that you’re gone. You have always been the creative one in our family. Last time at my house when you helped me fix perfect eggplant parmigiana, was a good example of your cooking prowess. Sewing, cooking, art, you were never afraid to tackle all kinds of things. I will miss you, big sis. Rest easy and in peace. Love, Camilla

  2. Scott Richardson
    Scott Richardson at · Reply

    Oh Denise, I am so sorry for your passing. In reflection of warm memories, I recall water skiing (or trying to) at the lake adjacent to your first home, the good time we had at the Texas State Fair, and most recently your kindness of sending us COVID masks you had made (which I wear every day)…but most of all your kindness and thoughtfulness you displayed to my two kids, Jessica and Zach throughout the years. I will always, always remember you. RIP Denise.

  3. lso20222
    lso20222 at · Reply

    From cookies to quilts, Denise put a little of herself into every gift she ever gave. She loved creating and made brilliant pieces of art, especially her fabric sculptures. Most of all, she loved and wanted to be loved by her family and friends. I love you, Denise, and a part of my heart is in Heaven with you now. Your loving sister, Lyn.

  4. Voncile Marshall Smith
    Voncile Marshall Smith at · Reply

    Maurine Denise, my first little baby, how sweet you were and so beautiful. You were so accomplished in many things–your art and design, your quilting, your sewing, your culinary adventures. We had travel fun, too–among our trips, two December adventures to Cape Cod where we hoped to introduce you to real snow and failed. And together, loving those Gators. Now your bodily pain is gone, but it took you with it, and away from us too soon. Sleep well, my darling, and know that we carry you forever in our hearts. With love, your Mom, Voncile

  5. Paulette Walters
    Paulette Walters at · Reply

    Denise, I am heartbroken about what has happened. I keep thinking back to when you were a baby. I thought you were the prettiest baby I had ever seen and was thrilled to be an aunt at nine years old. I loved you so much. I love all the gifts you made for me through the years and really appreciated the masks you made. You were always so talented… Sending love and prayers to your daughter, Melissa, Voncile, ( your mother ) and my nieces and nephew.( Camilla, Lyn, Nadine and Marshall)… Rest in peace my beautiful niece.

  6. Jessica Coffman
    Jessica Coffman at · Reply

    Aunt Denise, I was so sorry to hear about your passing. I was always touched that you would think about my kids with sending them so many arts and crafts over the years. My favorite piece you sent us was the cowboy quilt for Kyle when he was born. We also still use your cooking aprons and many art supplies. Your kindness and love of the arts will always be remembered. Love, Jessica

  7. Nadine Hartling
    Nadine Hartling at · Reply

    Denise, I will always remember you as my creative oldest sister. The gifts you made over the years will be forever treasured. I will never forget you as my terrific waterskiing instructor and the laughter we shared every time I fell in the process. I remember you making our flight to Dallas seem short as you reminisced about your adventures with all the organizations you had been involved with over the years. We were in Dallas in no time flat. Thanks for that. I love you and will miss you.

  8. Zach Richardson
    Zach Richardson at · Reply

    Denise, I am so sorry to hear of your passing. You have always been an inspiration to my creative side. I remember when I was in kindergarten you inspired me to want to create a learn-to-draw book for monsters. (My favorite thing to draw at the time.) I often remember this every time I take some time to draw something. I also remember the care packages you sent to me when I was 6 and getting my tonsils removed. It meant so much to me. Thank you for everything. You will always be remembered.

  9. Marshall Smith
    Marshall Smith at · Reply

    Denise, I’m so sorry to hear of your passing. I remember good times at your lake house, enjoying swimming in the lake, enjoying the peaceful evenings sleeping on your porch and learning to waterski. Making face masks for all the family was a very kind and loving thing. I use them every day. You will be missed. Rest in peace my sister.

  10. Lynn Smith
    Lynn Smith at · Reply

    Denise, I am very sad to hear of your passing. I was just talking with Marshall about you. We had not seen each other for a long time but we always love and appreciate your thoughtfulness. I would like to thank you for all the beautiful and handmade gifts you had made for us over the years, from Nathan’s beautiful baby quilt, Gators bags to shoe bags. You have been the most creative sister in- law I have and I am forever grateful. I really love and appreciate all the beautiful Covid masks you had made for us. Marshall, Nathan and I use them every day. I was even telling Marshall that I will ask you for more mask since they are so nice. Denise, you will be forever remembered and missed. Rest in peace my sister in law, no more pain. God bless your soul.
    Love, Lynn

  11. Jo Young
    Jo Young at · Reply

    Ms. McCulloch, I was very sad to see of your passing. You were the greatest art teacher I had while you taught over at Bradford High in Starke in the 1970’s. You realized that drawing and painting weren’t going to be easy to do, and introduced me to macramé and encouraged me to enter a wall hanging in the county fair. And you celebrated with me when I won the blue ribbon.

    The last time our paths crossed was when you were finishing your Masters at UF and I was an employee. You were so happy and excited that your dreams were coming true.

    God now has another great sculpture in heaven.

    Keeping you in fondest memories,
    Jo Young

  12. Nick Orletsky
    Nick Orletsky at · Reply

    From the bowls that I ate ice cream out of as a kid, to the blankets and pillows that decorate the beds and couches in my house as an adult, your crafting talent, creativity and generosity have been a constant throughout my life. You will be missed.
    Love, Nick

  13. Ann S. Halverson
    Ann S. Halverson at · Reply

    Oh, Denise how I wish we could have known each other, we had so many things in common to share. I know many folks don’t know you had an older half-sister and I only got to spend a very, very short time with you in the summer of 1963. May you rest painless now and forever.
    Your older half-sister
    Ann Halverson

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