Dr. Lester F. Littell

Dr. Lester F. Littell

Dr. Littell established Rhea Hospital’s Intensive Care unit.

Dr. Lester Faye Littell Jr. was born in Attalla, Alabama, on July 13, 1918, the son of Lester and Randa Giles Littell. Dr. Littell was a graduate of Madison Academy High School and Madison College in Nashville, where he received certification and served as a licensed registered nurse prior to becoming a family physician.

In the early 1940’s, Dr. Littell met Vivian Eithun in college and they eventually married.

In 1949, he received a medical degree from Loma Linda University. He started a family medical practice in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, from 1949-1952 and then in Grundy County, Tennessee, from 1952-1960. He moved his practice to Dayton in 1960 where he remained until his retirement in 1990.

He established the first and only hospital in Grundy County and the intensive care unit at the Rhea County Hospital. He was an emergency room physician and was chief of staff of the Rhea County Medical Center as well as serving as the county medical examiner for many years.

Dr. Littell was a member of the American Medical Association, a fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians, and was a member of the Tennessee Valley Medical Association and the Chattanooga Hamilton County Medical Society. He served on the Governor’s Rural Health Commission and was the Federal Aviation Administration’s Medical Examiner for 25 years.

During his career he received many community and civic awards, including Lion of the Year for 1990 and accommodations from Governor Ned McWherter and President George Bush in 1990.

Dr. Littell was actively involved with his wife Vivian in the Pathfinders Club. He was an authority on Tennessee wildflowers and was an avid nature photographer. He was an active member of the Graysville Adventist Church where he served as head elder and church organist for many years.

While no exact record could be located, we do know that Dr. Littell  delivered many babies in this area during his career. Anyone that had ever been a patient of his had the utmost love and respect for him.

Dr. Lester and Vivian had six children, Margie, Daniel, Lester III, David, Dana, and Bennie.

Dr. Littell passed away on February 17, 1991, just two months to the day after his beloved wife Vivian.

The couple are buried together in the Laurel Brook Cemetery on Dayton Mountain.



Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

1 Comment

  • Margaret l Ulrich

    August 24, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    What a lovely post about my Daddy and Mom. I loved them dearly and will never stop missing them. Thank you for remembering them.

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