Emmett Essin II, one of the founders of Texoma Regional Blood Center, died Tuesday in Sherman at the age of 97.

Essin was an obstetrician and gynecologist in Texoma for more than 40 years. He had his own private practice until the early 1990s and worked as a backup surgeon for many years after that.

“He used to say, ‘I have birthed more than 6,000 babies,’” Emmett Essin III said of his father.

Emmett Essin II grew up in Sherman and worked at his father’s clothing store as a teenager. In 1940, he graduated from Austin College, and in 1942, joined the Navy.

“He worked on a hospital repair ship,” Emmett Essin III said. “He witnessed the first testing of the atomic bomb. He studied what types of effects it would have on people.”

Emmett Essin II received his doctorate of medicine from the University of Texas at Galveston.

“He took care of people whether they could afford his services or not,” Emmett Essin II said. “He was the first OB/GYN between Dallas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Anything medical that would improve the community was important to him.”

Dorothy Perkins was one of Emmett Essin II’s patients. She described him as a wonderful, compassionate and caring person.

Emmett Essin III said that his father became so well known in this area that when he would get a speeding ticket, the information would beat him home.

“He was one of a kind,” longtime friend David Bayless said. “He was the premier OB/GYN in Sherman. He was hard working. He created a medical dynasty.”

Bayless knew Emmett Essin II for more than 35 years.

“His passing is a tremendous loss for everyone that knew him and there won’t be another like him,” Bayless said.

Texoma Regional Blood Center Executive Director Stacy Braddock said that she had only met Emmett Essin II one time, but that time left a lasting impression.

“He wanted to do the best for the patients of this area,” she said. “With this area growing as it has been, the blood center has been a necessity. It will be a lasting tribute to him. We are thankful for him and the other doctors that helped found the blood center. He has definitely left a positive impact on the patients of this area through his work with the blood center.”

Essin is survived by three sons, Warren Essin of Sherman, Emmett Essin III of Tennessee and Bob Essin of Colorado.

Arrangements are pending with Waldo Funeral Home in Sherman.