Mercy Health Love County - News

Hester Joins Hospital, Clinic; Powell Retires

Posted on Thursday, July 25th, 2013


Dr. John W. Hester
Dr. Larry Powell
John W. Hester, D.O., a family physician with more than 30 years of experience, has joined Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic and EMS.
Dr. Hester is serving patients of all ages. He maintains regular clinic hours on weekdays, except Wednesday.
Hester has deep Oklahoma ties, with degrees from three Oklahoma colleges and a high school diploma from Carl Albert High School in Midwest City.
His varied practice over the years has taken him to a military base in Alabama, a college health center in Georgia, the Veteran’s Center in Ardmore, family clinics in Pond Creek and Fairview, and, most recently, Seiling Community Hospital. 
He also has extensive experience as an emergency room physician and trauma specialist.
At the hospital and clinic, Hester has taken over the patient caseload of Dr. Larry D. Powell, who went on medical leave in June, following 10 years of service.
“We extend a warm welcome to Dr. Hester, and we express our great appreciation for Dr. Powell. We will miss him,” said Connie Barker, clinic director.
Dr. Powell, age 66, had planned to retire September 1, but a sudden health problem accelerated his departure, Barker said. His last day in the clinic was June 25.
He has retired to his hometown of Bossier City (Shreveport), Louisiana.
Dr. Hester, by coincidence, lists Bossier Parish as his place of birth in 1953, but he never lived there.
“I was born in the backseat of a 1944 car heading hard for the Texas border,” he said.
Following a military transfer and an opportunity to farm, the Hester family moved to northern Oklahoma, and later settled in Midwest City.
Hester’s mother died when he was 12 and he took on a homemaking role for his four younger siblings.
He joined the Army after high school in 1970 and served in Vietnam.
After changing branches, he accepted an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, attending for one year, then graduated in succession from Rose State College in 1974, Central State University in 1976, and Oklahoma State College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1980.
He supported himself through college on the G.I. Bill and as a carpenter.
A family physician in northern Oklahoma inspired Hester to become a doctor.

“ I heard of what he had done to help people, including my family members. I always thought of him when asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. ‘I want to be like Dr. Geb,’” Hester said.
“I like this profession because I just like people,” he added.
Hester’s two sons and one daughter are grown, as is an adopted daughter.
He lives in Ardmore with his wife, Tammy, an R.N. at Integris Marshall County Hospital in Madill.
Hester spends leisure time constructing a Japanese garden in his backyard, a hobby he learned while stationed in Okinawa.
He also enjoys fishing, and he has a longstanding scholarly interest in ancient myths, especially water myths from various civilizations.
His study has involved trips to academic libraries in England and Europe.
Hester said about his welcome in Marietta, “Everybody has treated me kindly. They’ve been friendly and helpful. I hope the best for the people of Love County and feel the Lord has blessed me to help them.”