If you have lived in Twentynine Palms for any length of time you knew John Hewitt and his wife, Jerry. John, known best as “Doc,” was buried on June 27th and with him a piece of our small community.

My wife and I met John and Jerry when we first moved here in 1988. Our friendship sprang, especially after I gave Jerry her first pool lesson. This turned into a lifelong pool-passion that they both carried right to the end.

But most town folk know John Hewitt, Physician Assistant, because that is who you saw when you went to the doctor. In the 26 years I went to the office, I never saw Dr. Smith once, it was always John, thus the title Doc Hewitt.

When I first moved to town as a struggling father with a young family, I would often take my kids for treatment. I’d get the prescription and ask, “How much do I owe you, John?” Answer: “Don’t worry about it.” I know I wasn’t the only recipient of Doc’s empathy.

Those of us who knew John and Jerry have personal stories to remember. John Hewitt was the last of a breed of small-town doctors, something out of Norman Rockwell’s vision. He didn’t go to school to get the title, he earned that title “Doc.”

On 27 June 2019, America buried some of its past. Doc Hewitt deserved more recognition than he got but the best of us always do.

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