Floral 17

Rita Culvern

April 19, 1943 ~ October 25, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old

Rita Culvern Obituary

Taylor Funeral Home of Louisville announces the death of Mrs. Rita Govreau Culvern, age 80, of Louisville, who died Wednesday evening October 25, 2023, at her home with her family by her side.

A service to celebrate her life will be held 3:00 PM, Sunday October 29, at the Louisville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church with Dr. Bill Cain officiating and Dr. Jim Polhill speaking. Burial will be private for family only in the Louisville City Cemetery.

Rita was a native of Dublin, Georgia, a daughter of the late William F. & Teresa Page Govreau. She was a 1961 honor graduate of Dublin High School and obtained her Registered Nursing degree from St. Joseph’s Infirmary School of Nursing in Atlanta in 1964. Rita dedicated her life to serving her community and making improvements to the care and well-being of the citizens of Jefferson County. From 1970 until 2007, she was employed at Jefferson Hospital as staff nurse, OR/ER nursing supervisor, utilization review/DRG coordinator, and, for five years, was director of nursing services.  Rita was appointed CEO of Jefferson Hospital in 1990, at which time the facility was experiencing an operational loss. Under her guidance, Jefferson Hospital succeeded in a complete fiscal turnaround and consistently improved its cash reserves. Service to others was always Rita’s primary focus. Rita was determined that Jefferson Hospital operate in a way that benefited everyone. She was a true steward of the trust given to her to manage one of the few remaining hospitals in rural Georgia. During her tenure as CEO, she negotiated a major physician practice acquisition for the hospital, developed rural health clinics (which promote diabetic case management and indigent drug program), 10 swing beds, a prenatal clinic, recruited seven physician specialists, two physician assistants, three nurse practitioners, expanded services, while the hospital maintained full JCAHO accreditation. She was a tough and fearless negotiator when it came to procuring equipment for Jefferson Hospital. Her ingenuity and her leadership are legendary among the employees she worked with as a family. She ensured the Physicians Health Group (PHG) clinics were built in Louisville, Wadley, and Wrens. She envisioned and oversaw the addition of the new Emergency Room at Jefferson Hospital, offering ten times the space and the modern equipment to secure the hospital’s role as a critical-needs access point in Jefferson County and beyond. She was project director for the 18,800 square foot addition to Jefferson Hospital from 2004 until its opening in 2005.

Rita was the first female elected Mayor of Louisville in 2007. She was a member of Louisville Garden Club, member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Louisville, and a parishioner of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, but most recently attended Louisville Presbyterian Church.

Rita was not only strong, but kind and offered help to anyone who needed it. She was a role model for countless people in the community and leaves behind a legacy of service and selflessness. Her community has greatly benefited from her efforts.

Rita was predeceased by her parents, her beloved son, Ben Culvern, her treasured in-laws, Robert M. & Helen Bennett Culvern, sisters Mary Ann Smith and Sylvia Horton and a brother William Govreau. She is survived by her cherished husband of 58 years, Joe Culvern, of Louisville, daughter, Stephanie Hildebrant, of St. Simons Island; grandson, Jackson Hildebrant, of Queens, NY, granddaughter, Jordan Hildebrant, of Milledgeville, sister Janet Wilkinson, of Milledgeville, several much-loved nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends.

The family will receive friends on Sunday one hour before the service at the church.

For those desiring to make a memorial contribution in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider the Jefferson County Hospital Foundation, 1067 Peachtree Street, Louisville, GA 30434 or Pruitt Health Hospice, 667 South Main St., Swainsboro, GA 30401.

You may sign the family’s personal guestbook online at www.taylorfhlouisville.com Her family encourages you to share your memories of “Mrs. Rita.”

Taylor Funeral Home and Cremation Care of Louisville is in charge of arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rita Culvern, please visit our floral store.

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Celebration of Life
October 29, 2023

3:00 PM
Louisville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
824 Walnut Street
Louisville, Georgia 30434

Visitation 1 Hour Prior To Service

Louisville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
824 Walnut Street
Louisville, Georgia 30434


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