Dr. Jewel Byron Grimmett, known to most as “Doc” and to his grandchildren as “Poppa Doc”, was born November 14, 1928 in the back of his parents’ grocery store in Lamartine.
He grew up in Lamartine and Waldo with his teachers referring to him as the hardest working student they ever taught. He attended A&M at Magnolia (now Southern Arkansas University) and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture from the University of Arkansas.
After teaching agriculture to military veterans (GIs) and working in agriculture, he decided to become a family doctor. He often told the story of being “the poorest student in medical school” and driving a vehicle that ran on used motor oil. His boundless energy and work ethic inspired a country boy to defy the odds and earn his medical degree from UAMS in 1959.
While studying medicine, he worked on building his medical practice in Waldo and opened his medical practice there in 1960. He was still practicing medicine every night at this clinic until a few days before his death on Thursday 10 November 2022.
Doc was known to be involved in various businesses, but his passions were cattle ranching and medicine. Doc was well known for herding cattle during the day and caring for his patients at night. Sometimes when tending to patients he smelled like a cattle rancher or like gasoline after running a tanker all night, but his positive caring attitude and bedside manners outweighed his appearance. .
Many of his patients remember him giving them injections and medicine and feeling better when they left his clinic. Other patients, young and old, remember medicine bags filled with candy and her home visits. He was the last family physician to dispense drugs in Arkansas.
There are many positive stories about Doc Grimmett and he is a legend among those who knew him. He has been very generous with his time and resources and has helped many people and organizations in the community. Doc always had a huge smile for his grandchildren. His talents, accomplishments and life experiences were extraordinary. He has been a mentor and inspiration to many in the community. He inspired his two daughters and one granddaughter to enter the healthcare profession. All his friends are richer for having known him but are also a little poorer since he died.
He was predeceased by his parents, Jewel Byron Grimmett Sr, and Mattie Perry Grimmett; and two sisters, Margaret Grimmett Hawkes and Betty Grimmett Garrett.
Doc is survived by his wife, Sandy Grimmett of Waldo; mother-in-law, Doris DeLoach of Magnolia; two daughters, Tara Almand and husband CT of Waldo and Ginger Grimmett-Mulholland and husband Terry of Waldo; four grandchildren, Dixie Almand, Daisy Almand and Mack Byron Almand of Waldo, and Madison Powell and her husband Todd of Waldo; a special nephew, Donald Hawkes of Dallas, and two other nephews.
Visitation will be held Sunday, November 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Lewis Funeral Home.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 14, 2022 at Shiloh Cemetery with Bro. Danny Bullock officiating and Bro. Elvis Griffin attending under the direction of Lewis Funeral Home, Inc., at Magnolia.
The pallbearers will be Eddie Arnold, Charles Biddle, Tony Eddy, Todd Huffman, Mike Landes and Charlie Clark. The honorary bearers will be Terry Price, Glen Dossie and Billy Grissom.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SAU Department of Nursing or the SAU Department of Agriculture, c/o SAU Foundation, PO Box 9174, Magnolia, AR 71754, or Arkansas Children’s Hospital in honor of Dixie Almand.
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