I remember him overruling his receptionist and nurse years ago, to take me in and clean my ears of wax after I became nauseated from trying to teach school with loud ringing in my ears. I suppose that they wanted him to concentrate on the more lucrative portions of his practice. That was back in the early 60’s. He really cared about people, you could just tell by his manner.
It was interesting to visit and speak with him while he was at the Alverno just a year ago. His mind and humor were still at their peak even though his body had been ravaged by time. He was over 90. He taught many people how to live and how to be brave and caring even unto his death.
Those early doctors really were a breed unto themselves, serving long hours with much grace. Two others who I encountered often were Dr. Robert Mellen, a kindly general practitioner of my father’s vintage, and Dr. Maryellda Rockwell, one of Clinton’s first female doctors, who made house calls and took care of me when I was a child. So did Dr. Joe O’Donnell make house calls, and he once saved my life when I was having a severe asthma attack. I recall people jokingly calling him “Mother O’Donnell,” because of the way he addressed older women by always calling them “mother.”
Another famous doctor was Dr. John Hullinger, who lived to be 97 years old and is famous for fathering two boys, John and Bill, at the advanced age of 93 and 95. He went on a television program with his "secret,” and they didn’t even come close to guessing that he could be a father of two young babies! His widow, Lucille, still lived in town until 2006 and she was always glad to tell you all about her years with Doc Hullinger.