Dr. John Askew
SIKESTON — Dr. John H. Askew, 75, died Saturday, June 22, 2019, at his home in Sikeston, Missouri, surrounded by his family.
A respected and loved physician, John practiced medicine in Southeast Missouri for 34 years. From his retirement in late 2005 through today, his colleagues, patients, and patients’ family members showered him with words of gratitude and letters thanking him for saving lives, for visiting their loved ones at home, and for his bedside manner defined by straight talk, long hours, sharp wit, and dry humor.
John was born at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, on May 9, 1944. He was raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with his sister, Rebecca, by their parents Dr. John W. Askew Jr., D.D.S., and Mrs. Lillian Askew, who instilled in them the value of, and love for, education.
John received his Bachelor of Science from Mississippi College in 1965, his Master of Science from the University of Mississippi in 1967 where he also taught anatomy to medical students, and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Tennessee in 1971.
Following medical school, he did his residency at the University of Southern California where he met and fell in love with his future wife, Carol Van Deraa of South Holland, Illinois.
Implementing a plan hatched by his best friend, the brilliant Ed Masters, John moved to Advance, Missouri, in 1972 to work with Ed’s father. Later that year, John and Carol were married. In 1974, John and Ed relocated their practice to Sikeston, joining the Ferguson Medical Group. John was a family practice physician who also delivered hundreds of babies and was on staff at Missouri Delta Medical Center. Obstetrics “was the best part of medicine,” John said upon retirement.
John is survived by Carol, his wife of 46 years, and their three children, Wells, Nathan, and Ben. Their oldest son, John Wells Askew, resides in Rochester, Minnesota, with his wife Lisa and their 4-year-old daughter, Devlin Elizabeth Askew. Nathan Askew lives in Doniphan, Missouri, when he’s not guiding safaris in Africa. Ben Askew resides in St. Louis with his girlfriend, Loren Menefee. John is also survived by his sister, Dr. Rebecca Askew, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
John’s priorities were his family and his patients. In the spare time that he had, he could likely be found at the bowling alley (he rolled a 300 game in 1992), the golf course, or at home doing yard work.
Services will be held on Wednesday, June 26 at the First Christian Church, 1006 N. Main St., in Sikeston, where John and Carol are members. Visitation begins at 1:30 p.m. with a funeral service to follow at 4 p.m.
Nunnelee Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be shared at www.nunneleefuneralchapel.com.
The family requests donations be made in his honor to the Mayo Clinic Hope Fund (philanthropy.mayoclinic.org) or the First Christian Church in Sikeston.