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Dr. Sandra Kay Rayburn, 76, of Savannah, Georgia, died Thursday afternoon, December 31, 2020, at her home.

Born in Savannah, Georgia she was a daughter of the late Madeline Bowen and Alton J. “Dick” Bowen, and the late Sam Rayburn.

Dr. Rayburn graduated from Savannah High School in 1961 and graduated with honors from the Georgia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia in 1965. She continued her education and at Georgia State University and was awarded the Ph.D in Higher Education Administration in 1991.

She practiced nursing in many locations throughout the metro Atlanta area. She taught nursing at Hall School of Nursing and Brenau College in Gainsville, Georgia and at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia as well as at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing. When she returned from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing she was awarded the Associate Professor Ererita from Mercer University.

Dr. Rayburn has been recognized by many organizations throughout her distinguished career. This includes being awarded Distinguished Faculty of the Year (Georgia Baptist College of Nursing), Exemplary Service Award (Pi Gamma Chapter and Sigma Theta Tau International), and was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society at Georgia State University.

In 2014, she agreed to serve as the Board’s Nursing Education Consultant. The arrangement was originally intended to be for a short time while the Board worked to fill the vacant position. She worked throughout 2014 until October 2015. In August of 2016, Dr. Rayburn once again answered the call and assumed the Nursing Education Consultant Role, serving until Decembe of 2017.

Survivors include her step-brother, Kenneth Bowen; first cousins, Barbara Anderson, Ann Largis, Harry Harley, and Terri Smiley as well as many other cousins.

She was a passionate person and gave whole-heartedly to non-profits of all kinds and as a pet lover, the Humane Society had a special place in her heart. Sandra loved her family, friends, traveling, the theater, and Christmas at the Ritz Carlton.

Forever the nurse and caretaker, she gave to everyone and will be remembered for her selflessness and soft-heartedness.

The memorial service for Dr. Rayburn will be held at 11 o’clock Saturday morning, March 20, 2021, at White Bluff United Methodist Church – 11911 White Bluff Road.

Remembrances: The Humane Society for Greater Savannah – 7215 Sallie Mood Drive, Savannah, Georgia 31406-3922

Online Condolences

  1. Polly Zimmerman says:

    I was so sorry to hear of Sandra’s death. She has
    had a great deal of health issues for several years now.
    May she have the rest now that she needed. May her
    memory be a blessing.

  2. Glenda Hanson says:

    I have known Sandra since 1975 when we were in the Master’s program at GSU. We have remained professional colleagues and friends since. I am stunned and saddened at her loss.

  3. Judith Wold says:

    I have known Sandra for years and worked with her as a professional colleague at GSU. Such a sweet soul. She had such wonderful Facebook posts–which is how I kept up with her. I will miss her.

  4. Charles Goldsmith says:

    My condolences to Sandra’s family and friends.
    Charles Goldsmith
    Savannah High Class of ’61

  5. cindy pound says:

    Susan was one of my instructors at Brenau. She was so smart, not just a good educators great one . My condolences to her family. She left a legacy of well trained nurses.

  6. Kathy hoffman says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sandra was my neighbor for over 10 years here in Atlanta. Such a nice lady. May she rest in peace.

  7. Donna Thomson says:

    We loved sandra and will miss her! Her trips to savannah for thanksgiving and Christmas time was such a pleasure and her cousins carolyn barbarA and Harry and terry loved seeing her. The last year her moving to Savannah was spent in search of pain relief for her back pain and so although we are sad to see her go we know she no longer in the pain she had to endure. She loved us and our pets and loved so many and inspired so many in the health field and help our family in so many cases. Donna and Curtis Thomson

  8. Regena Spratling says:

    Dr. Rayburn was my faculty at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing. She was so encouraging and a great educator. We kept in touch as I continued my education and career. I am now at Georgia State as faculty and am incredibly proud of her as an alumni and former faculty at Georgia State University.
    She will be missed, but she left a legacy that we will always remember.

  9. Linda Streit says:

    Sandra will ALWAYS be in the hearts and minds of students, graduates, alums, staff, and faculty at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing. She gave so much to others. An expert in women’s health, I had the opportunity to not only work with her but to travel to conferences across the world, including St. Petersburg, Russia. Such a kind and caring individual who worked tirelessly in the profession of nursing. As one saying goes… to teach is to live forever. Sandra.. your ‘teachings’ will live through others for many years to come! Even with that said, I will miss her! My prayers to her family. Dr. Linda Streit, Dean, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University.

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