George Culver, father of Culver’s co-founder & CEO Craig Culver, died Thursday, July 7, in Sauk City. He was 88.

Culver and his wife Ruth began their foodservice career by opening an A&W restaurant in Sauk City in 1961. After operating a number of other restaurants in the area they founded Culver’s in 1984 by converting their original Sauk City site with their son Craig and daughter-in-law Lea Culver.

Today Culver’s has 435 restaurants in 19 states.

“George never compromised on quality,” says Phil Keiser, Culver’s president and COO. “He made sure each product was made with quality ingredients and cooked exactly to order, while his wife Ruth was a role model for service and hospitality. It was a perfect blend that set the standard for the way Culver’s does things today.”

Ruth Culver died in 2008.

George Culver’s mark on the restaurant system led the organization to create an annual GM Culver Award. For many years the award has been given to a franchise partner who has demonstrated long-term visionary leadership and success.

Culver will be laid to rest beside his wife in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.

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