Norman Ned Hanks, MD received the gift of meeting Jesus face to face on Jan. 2, 2019.

Norman Ned Hanks, MD received the gift of meeting Jesus face to face on Jan. 2, 2019.

He was born in Prague on April 1, 1936. When his siblings went to school and let their friends know about their 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 attended Central State College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1959.

During summertime he would hop trains and hitch hike 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 had a goal of attending medical school and borrowed money from a distant cousin and local Shawnee banker, HT Riddle.

He also enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1964 and was honorably discharged in 1971. He 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, Texas, 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 as a medical examiner for Pottawatomie County. Over the years, Norman 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.

Norman had offers to practice medicine all over the country but chose to return to his hometown of Shawnee in 1968 to start his own practice as a General Practitioner, General Surgeon with a sub specialty in Peripheral Vascular Surgery. On Dec. 12, 1969, he married Revelle Cowen in Shawnee.

Norman was a man of many trades! In the late '70s, 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 focused on his 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, enjoyed going to the movies, was a big game hunter and 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 Kasterkee 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, Jan. 9, at 11:30 a.m. 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.