Norman Ned Hanks
April 1, 1936 – January 2, 2019
Norman Ned Hanks, MD received the gift of meeting Jesus face to face on January 2, 2019. He was born in Prague, OK on April 1, 1936. When his siblings went to school and let their friends know they had a new baby brother, no one believed them because it was April Fool’s Day! He graduated from Shawnee High School on May 26, 1955 where he played Tackle for the Shawnee wolves. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1959 from Central State College.
During summers he hopped trains and hitch hiked to Texas and Wyoming to work in oil fields as a ruff neck to earn wages to pay for the following year’s tuition and living expenses. Norman borrowed money from HT Riddle, a distant cousin and local Shawnee banker to attend medical school. Good to his word he paid off his loan in full. In 1964 he enlisted in the Army Reserve and was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1971. Norman graduated from The University of Oklahoma Medical School as a Doctor of Medicine in 1963. In 1965 he completed his surgical residency at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas. He also completed two residencies in General Surgery at Baylor University in Dallas, TX in 1967 and 1969. In 1968, Captain Norman N. Hanks successfully completed The Gary P. Wratten Surgical Symposium given at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In March 1971 he was elected a fellow of the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons. In July 1972 he was appointed a Medical Examiner for Pottawatomie County. Over the years, Dr. Hanks continued his medical education by completing courses in Laser Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, Liposuction & Cosmetic Surgery. He was an associate fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.
Dr. Hanks had offers to practice medicine all over the country but chose to return to his hometown of Shawnee in 1969 to start his own practice as a General Practitioner and General Surgeon with a sub specialty in Peripheral Vascular Surgery. On December 12, 1969 he married Revelle Cowen.
Norman was a man of many trades! In the late 70’s, he put his hands-on oilfield experience to use and founded Hanco Drilling Company, a builder and operator of drilling rigs. He purchased the first of six drilling rigs in 1978. He retired from medicine in 2003 and developed a hobby of restoring antique John Deere tractors. After retirement he built two more drilling rigs and completed his last one in 2007 at the age of 71. Norman had a passion for farming and raising cattle which he continued to do until his death.
Norman was an avid historian. He loved to write and recite poetry, go to the movies, hunt, and he never missed the news.
Dr. Hanks was one of the funniest and wittiest people ever. He lit up a room with his charm and that oh so ornery grin! His children called it his “guilty grin”. He never stopped making people laugh with his impromptu stories and songs he made up about a fictitious person or any given situation.
He was happiest when he was watching OU football with his children, grandchildren and puppies. His family is very thankful that he spent his last week on this earth making forever memories with them celebrating Christmas in Dallas then heading to Miami for the Orange Bowl. He will be missed more than words can express, but his legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren.
He is survived by daughter Heather Hanks Kathey and son-in-law Brett Kathey, son Nathan Hanks and daughter- in-law Vera Hanks and grandchildren Wyatt and Eliana Hanks, loving mother of his children Revelle Hanks, sister-in-law Sue Hanks, yorkie puppies Izzy, Chewy, Hannah and Grand puppy Chufa Valenciana, many amazing nieces and nephews including Stephanie Hanks Edelen and family , Gloria Crosby and family, Betty Kasterke and family, Loretta Sires Gouker and family, Marsha Serin Marsh and family, David Sires and family, Helen Foster and family, Danny Hanks, Glenda Payne and family, Donnie Judy and family, Bobby Judy and family, Renee Salazar and family and lifetime best friends, Albert and Mary Crawford.
He was preceded in death by mother Silvia Hanks, father Archie Hanks, sister Edna Smith and husband Miles Smith, sister Dorothy Denney and husband Delmar, sister Levina Sires and husband Carl, brother Clyde Hanks, Brother Howard Hanks and wife Gertrude, brother Glen Hanks and wife Ann, and brother Donnie Hanks.
A celebration to honor Dr. Hanks will be held Wednesday January 9, 2019 at 11:30am at Liberty Baptist Church 711 E Federal Shawnee.
In Lieu of flowers, donations made to Liberty Academy in Shawnee, Oklahoma or to St. Jude Hospital in his memory are greatly appreciated.
- Nathan Hanks, Son, Pallbearer
- Brett Kathey, Son-in-law, Pallbearer
- Dick Romine, Family Friend, Pallbearer
- Justin Coley, Family friend, Pallbearer
- Keith Branscum, Family Friend, Pallbearer
- Phil Edelen, Nephew-in-law, Pallbearer
- Wyatt Hanks, Grandson, Honorary Pallbearer
- Albert Crawford, Lifelong best friend, Honorary Pallbearer
- Celebration of Life Memorial Service Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Norman Ned Hanks
January 8, 2019
I will always remember you as one of the most compassionate doctors with your patients. You had a way to bring a smile, a frown or hearty laughter from everyone. Like Debbie said, your scrubs and cowboy boots were your trademark. RIP Dr. Hanks
January 8, 2019
I remember being a totally “green scrub tech”- you picked up on that the first day.
I remember how mad you’d get at me and I’d cry- I thought that made you happy.
I remember slowly but surely we were able to work together without killing each other.
I remember how we became buddies and you asked to have me on your cases.
I remember how you fought so desperately for hours and hours trying to save patients from death.
I remember what an excellent teacher you could be and taught me so much about the human body and anatomy.
I remember your 60th birthday and how Dana made you a boob cake and the fake cake with salt in it and the look on your face when you tried to eat it.
I remember the cook outs at your house you invited us to. Not many doctors did that.
I remember how much you loved your little dog Hannah.
I remember you singing “El Paso” dozens of times in surgery.
I remember you walking down the hall in your cowboy boots, with scrubs on, one leg of your pants tucked in your boot.
I remember laughing til I cried from your silly jokes and remarks. For 17 years.
I remember the day of your heart attack, thinking it was only heartburn, but you knew.
I remember looking at you and a tear came to your eye when you saw the devastation on tv of 911.
I remember being proud to have been on your case when you performed the first successful Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery in Shawnee.
I remember all the dozens of patients who had no money or insurance and you treated them anyway.
I remember 17 years of working with you, the shocks and surprises, frustration and exhaustion of hours and hours on maybe just one operation, but never giving up.
And I remember your kindness and compassion.
I will always remember you, Dr, Hanks, you had a profound influence on my life and I was and am proud to call you my friend.
May you Rest In Peace in God’s love.
Nancy (Qualls) Newton
January 7, 2019
What to say about Dr. Hanks! He was a respected man as a dr and friend. When Dr. Hanks first set up his office in Shawnee I was one of his first emergency patients. I was at Tom Thumb Nursery and a swing set tipped over on me a ripped my right arm open. Dr. Hanks put 50 stitches in my arm and told my parents he didnt know if I would ever use my arm again. He did a perfect job on my arm. Never had any problems with it. Dr. Hanks and my dad hunted together and were good friends for years. I owe Dr. Hanks for saving my arm. He was our family Dr from then on. We will miss him. Rest in peace my favorite Dr of all time!!