John R. Hewitt

Sailors perform honors for the funeral of Twentynine Palms resident John Hewitt.

John R. Hewitt passed away June 19, 2019, in Palm Springs and was buried in the 29 Palms Public Cemetery on June 27th. Best known to 29 Palms as “Doc” Hewitt, he was the first Physician’s Assistant (PA) in town.

John was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina Sept. 2, 1937. He joined the Navy in the late 1950s, became a corpsman and was a Vietnam veteran.

In 1974, John received the national honor of Shore Sailor of the Year. 

He and his family were flown to Washington, D.C., for an award ceremony presided over by the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. 

With this honor he received the rank of Chief Petty Officer and a five-day vacation for himself and the family.

John and his wife, Jerry, also a Navy veteran who passed away in 2017, moved to 29 Palms in 1976. After retiring from the Navy, John received his PA license and served the 29 Palms community for over 26 years.

John and Jerry were avid pool players, often playing in two and three leagues a week and attending tournaments in California and Las Vegas several times a year.

He is survived by his son, Thomas, daughter, Vera, their spouses, four grandchildren and a great-grandchild. 

Doc Hewitt is also survived by a community who will miss him greatly.