R. Samuel Culvern

Born: Fri., May 5, 1944
Died: Mon., Feb. 13, 2017

Celebration of Life

2:00 PM Sat., Apr. 01, 2017
Location: Sugar Creek Chapel

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R. Samuel Culvern, E.R. Doc, hummingbird whisperer, tree planter, beach lover, Bible student, chili champion, and classic car dreamer, passed to his new life February 13, 2017.

Multiple Myeloma was a hard row to hoe, but Sam shot every arrow in his arsenal at it, living two years longer than his oncologist had predicted. Sam had a life-long love affair with hunting, eating, spur-of-the-moment trips, shopping, movies, his many canine companions, and a swig now and again of B&B. He loved collecting rare books and spending simple times with his family and friends. 

Sam graduated from Louisville Academy in Louisville, Georgia, the University of Georgia, and the Medical College of Georgia. The depth of his roots allowed him to grow into a strong man and capable doctor, but he never ventured too far from his small-town home.

Back in the late 70’s, Sam thought he would bring his “healing” skills and volunteer on some mission trips, but he read in the small print that divorced folks need not apply. He was discouraged and wondered if he would always feel like a second-class Christian. Years later, his dream of helping on medical mission trips opened right up, along with his very happy heart. Hello Mexico and Peru! He considered those mission trips huge highlights in his life, cementing them as constant reminders of Father’s forgiveness, which covers us fully before we ever make any mistakes. 

Sam delivered many babies in his initial career as an OB/GYN Doc, but was always a bit disappointed that he couldn’t talk one single woman into naming her baby “Sam.” Since his original goal had been to be a family physician, Emergency Room medicine filled that void to a tee. So many times, Sam would find himself trying to save someone’s life, but failing fast. Then, after trying everything he had been taught and a few tricks he learned along the way, he said the answer seemed to be perfectly placed in his heart. Those experiences taught him that he was definitely the branch, while Christ was obviously the Vine.

Sam took his last breath cradled in the arms of his bride of 29 years, Pamalia. We often talk about the trip of a lifetime, but that day Sam took the trip from a lifetime right into a joy-filled heavenly reunion with his parents, grandparents, best friend JW, and a posse of excited fur babies.

Three other women Sam treasured were his golden-haired daughters, Susan Lake and Anne Summers, and his petite sister in love, Rita Culvern. He raised a bonus son, Chase Ogletree, and gained a daughter in love, bakery boss Brooke who fattened him up between chemo treatments. Sam will be watching over his older brother and grill master, Joe Culvern, and his sons in love, Michael Lake of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, and Mason Summers of Chapin, South Carolina. “Sampa” will have front row seats watching his grandchildren grow up: three handsome grandsons, Lego legend Robert Lake, musical prodigy Patrick Lake, and soccer champ Jake Summers, a granddaughter, friend magnet Caroline Summers, and two bonus granddaughters, consummate reader Elizabeth Ogletree, and Sampa’s coloring comrade Alice Belle Ogletree. A special shout-out to niece Stephanie Hildebrant and husband Ken for hosting some hilarious hunt club “he-man” rib-licking good times that often took Sam days to recover. 

Sam considered his long list of accomplishments just God-given gifts. But he did have very fond memories of being a flight surgeon in Vietnam with the U.S. Army, as well as once speaking at a Bible conference on why we should not fear our Father’s Judgment because mercy and deliverance always follow.

A Life Celebration will be held at Sugar Creek Chapel on Hundred Acre Farm in Madison, Georgia, on Saturday, April 1st at 2:00 pm, with a reception to follow. Please contact McCommons Funeral Home at (706) 453-2626 for further details.


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Condolence Booklet

Elaine Carpenter
   Posted Wed February 22, 2017
Our sweet Sam: You are gone, but never forgotten. You fought a long, hard battle, but our Father wanted a better, pain free life for you and took you Home. We will cherish the memories as we go about our lives. Praying that God will provide comfort and strength to your precious soulmate Pam and to your family at this sad time in their lives. R.I.P. buddy, until we meet again.💗 Elaine and Janice

Barbara Whiteside
   Posted Wed February 22, 2017
I have the pleasure of having read two of the most beautiful remembrances of a person who has passed away..one a good friend who wrote her own the week before she died, and it was so her.......then this one.......everything beautifully written in his memory.......I only met him once but enjoyed his wry sense of humor through postings on facebook via my gt grandniece Brooke or Sam's love, Pam. May the memories keep him alive long after his death.......sincere sympathies to the whole family.......

LaRose Tapley
   Posted Wed February 22, 2017
PERFECT Pam! Every word is written with love and admiration and exactly as it should be for your dear Sam. I'm thinking of you constantly. My sympathy goes out to your entire family.

Dick and Sharon Dickens
   Posted Wed February 22, 2017
It has been a wonderful gift from our Father for us to get to know Dr. Sam, he was such a great and funny man. We would be in a conversation and all of a sudden Sam would come out with that wit of his and you would think "what was that". Then you would laugh and the conversation went on! He fought the great fight, never wanting to leave his love and soul mate. But now I know he is with Father not in any pain, and dancing with the Angels.

Keith Adamson
   Posted Thu February 23, 2017
I did not know Sam ,but sounds like somebody I would have liked to known. We don't know why we struggle in life , all we know is it is for our Fathers purpose and that he is with us every step of the way. Praying for Fathers comfort for you and your family

Debra York
   Posted Thu February 23, 2017
I'm one of those who only met Sam once, but got to know him through Pam's writing of her adventures of living and loving this sweet man. I hope the medical trials he participated in will help the research into the cancer he had and will be a help to others. I know there is a void deep and wide in this world that will never be filled by another like Sam. My heartfelt condolences and prayers to Pam and her family as they go through the coming days.

Beverly Carter
   Posted Thu February 23, 2017
When my husband I were much younger and our Children were teenagers, we met Sam and Pam. They were such an encouragement to us. One of our teens decided to rebel instead of going to Bible School. She got a ticket for driving without car insurance and was in jail. We did not have the money to get her out but Sam paid the money and she was released. Our daughter then later paid Sam back, which we were thankful for. What an example both Sam and Pam have been of letting Christ live through them, for the glory of God. Thank you Sam for using what you were blessed with to help other. We are the branches of The Vine, our Lord Jesus Christ. Love, Dos & Beverly Carter

Katrina Burgin
   Posted Thu February 23, 2017
Pam I am so sorry for your loss.. I know Sams having a great time with Jesus..I love you and I'm here if you need anything

chuck lawhorn
   Posted Fri February 24, 2017
So sorry for your loss Pam, you and family will be in my prayers.

Ralph Danson
   Posted Fri February 24, 2017
Pam, I am so very sad by your loss. My father died of multiple myeloma back in 1969. It was very rare then, but a vicious burden for anyone. I pray for your pain, and rejoice that his suffering is over and the promise of our salvation. <><

Alice L. Hunnicutt
   Posted Sat February 25, 2017
Dear Pam - Extending my deepest sympathy in the passing of your beloved spouse & partner for nearly 3 decades. Whenever I must say "goodbye" to those I've loved, I take comfort in this. The promise of eternal life with our departed, becomes the gift of hope. We will be reunited with them, one day, in our heavenly home. Many years ago, my dearest cousin's wife was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Cousin C.W. took Pat to the Queen of England's doctor for treatment along with the Mayo Clinic. He did everything he could do to save her. It was a battle. In the end, God wanted her more as it was with your Sam. You're in my thoughts & prayers now & in the days to come.

Mary Leslie Hartman
   Posted Tue February 28, 2017
Loved reading this and learning a little more about Sam. My heart is with you Pam and family, I know your pain is great. My condolences and prayers for you to find peace and comfort at this time of such great loss and heartache.