R. Samuel Culvern

May 5, 1944 ~ February 13, 2017 (age 72)

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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