Alexandria, LA - Longtime Rapides Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Jean Lively passed away on March 13.

Lively was born Feb. 26, 1932, in Joyce, Louisiana. She graduated from Winnfield High School in 1950 and from Louisiana College in 1954 with a degree in nursing. She was instrumental in Louisiana College re-establishing its nursing program in the 1980s. Lively also served as Director of Nursing at Morehouse General Hospital in Bastrop before coming to Rapides Regional Medical Center.

"Jean Lively served with distinction during a changing time in our hospital's history," said Jason Cobb, RRMC CEO and President. "She was a strong advocate for our nurses and the critical role they play in taking care of our patients. And, she had the wisdom to see the value of making sure our local colleges and universities provide top-level nursing education to meet the growing demand here in Central Louisiana for nurses."

Lively served as CNO and Vice President of Nursing at RRMC until her retirement in 1995. She also served on the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, RRMC Board of Trustees and Rapides Health System Board of Directors.

Karen Hathorn, Administrator of Rapides Women's and Children's Hospital, was mentored by Lively and said it is appropriate her life will be celebrated in 2020 - The Year of the Nurse.

"Mrs. Lively was a true Southern steel magnolia - a strong woman with so much care and compassion that she shared with others," said Hathorn. "She was a wonderful woman, nurse, leader mentor and friend. She encouraged me and so many other nurses to learn more and be better - in every aspect of our lives.

"I will be eternally grateful for all she did to impact not just my life, but so many other lives as well."

Lively is survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert Rae Lively Sr., her parents and three siblings.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

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