Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thank you, John

There is some sad news for the LPD family. Retired Capt. John Hewitt passed away on Christmas Eve. I met John when I was 15 years old, 41 years ago. I worked at Pete's IGA, across the street from his house, and when Tess and John had more than a couple bags, I helped them carry their groceries home. John was the night desk sergeant at the time.

One day about five years later I was moaning about the high price of a college education, when he suggested I join the police department. He took me out one night on a ride along, and he told me about a government-funded tuition program. I was a University of Nebraska senior at the time, but It was such a good deal, I decided to continue with graduate school. By the time I was done with that I had a family and a mortgage, and I was having a lot of fun as a young police sergeant.

I have John Hewitt to thank for setting me on this rewarding career path. He was an admirable guy in all respects, a good friend, and a loving husband and father. He was very proud of his sons, and I know he will be sorely missed.

John had a massive heart attack several years ago, and quite miraculously survived against all odds. He got a new lease on life, and he made the most of it. We were fortunate to enjoy his company for those extra years.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember John as a great guy with a very dry sense of humor. He was very calm when chaos surrounded him. My sincerest sympathy to his family.

256

Anonymous said...

What will we do without him?

Anonymous said...

Capt. Hewitt has always been very sincere and always made a point to talk to me before he retired and after he retired. He was a person of high character!!! God bless his family during this time of mourning.

872

Anonymous said...

Casady. I only met Hewitt once and he struck me as a fine specimen. A truly gentle-man. That picture confirms it. That he was your friend, that your kind words are obviously so heartfelt tells me volumes about you.

Dave said...

Chief, there has to be a story behind that picture, let's hear it please.

I vaugly remember seeing that picture appear, but I can't recall any of the details.

As for the man himself, I remember him, didn't have any interaction with him that I can remember, but I remember who he was and always thought him to be one of the good cops from the older days.

Tom Casady said...

Dave-

The photo appears on page 5 of our 1973 Annual Report, which suggests to me it was probably taken in 1972--before my time. I know that it was an traffic crash on the Harris Overpass. The view is towards the south. You can see the Beatrice Foods building in the background, and the bystanders in the background are leaning on the railing.

Anonymous said...

Recognition of a great man is always valued by his family and friends at such a time of loss. Your story is uplifting and celebratory of his life well-lived.

Anonymous said...

It was truly a pleasure to have known such a fine man as John Hewitt. My heart goes out to his family. The world is worse without him, but I know he is now in a better place.

234 said...

John was one of my first sergeants back in 1972 when I started as a police cadet--worked the Service Desk with Wes Kerns, Dale Stunkel, Huck Lattimer. All being Marines, I got 'educated' really quick with the 'real world' and some colorful vocabulary. When I became engaged, my wife-to-be and I went to John and Tess' home to personally tell them. They are both truly great people. Through the years, both have been good friends and John will be truly missed. True to his Marine mindset, he was valiant and tough in dealing with health issues over the years and I never observed him complain once. I was truly saddened hearing of his passing and wish his family my sincerest condolences. God bless!

234

UPRR FAN said...

Chief,
John told me the story of how he came to be holding the baby. John was working at the desk and was just finishing his shift. He decided to ride along with Lt. Lamimer to this injury accident. When they arrived the mother was being loaded into an ambulance. The child was crying and everyone else was busy doing their job. John was really off duty and took it upon himself to hold the child while others did their thing. John said the child calmed and went to sleep in his arms. The child was not injured, the blood on the baby's clothing was from the mother. I believe it was a reporter who shot the pic. As Sgt. Hewitt finished the story a smile formed on his face. This is how John led his life, helping those who needed help. God bless you John and may Tess, Russ and Tony know how much you helped all of us at LPD and the citizens of Lincoln. You will be missed.

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Tom Casady said...

UPRR Fan-

That makes sense. The photo had to be taken in 1972, John would have been the night shift desk sergeant, and he had to be off duty. We were guessing that he was on his way home. Thanks for the great story.