SEPTEMBER 18, 2019: It was 1969, and the US was reeling from the hysteria of The Beatle’s last public performance, 350,000 plus rock-n-roll fans gathered at Woodstock, and the Apollo 11 mission landed Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buz” Aldrin as the first men on the Moon. It was 50 years ago and there were some monumental events happening in the world, and it was no different in Nancy Wilson’s world, though she didn’t realize it at the time. A young lady from Bossier City, who had just, several years before, graduated from Airline High School as the second graduating class of 101 students. She started her Freshman year of college at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston in search of her future, only to discover some short weeks later that school was just not for her, but the workforce was. At the tender age of 19, she took the initiative to apply for work with Dr. Breffeilh. She was hired to work in the office and then in 1969, at 21 years old she began working for Dr. James Ward, a local Ophthalmologist. Much like her, he had started his career in one direction and was promptly led to go another. He was an OB/GYN and then realized it wasn’t for him, so he returned to school and training to become an Ophthalmologist, opening his practice in the fall of 1969 – and that’s when Nancy’s journey of 50 years began.
Nancy would work for Dr. Ward for some 33 years as an Ophthalmic Technician – managing the front desk, bookkeeping, appointments, and patient files which were organized and stored in dog food boxes. Together, they worked Monday thru Thursday, Thursday being his operating day, and then back in the office Friday and Saturday. Nancy was part of the changes in technology and the growth of the practice, which ultimately moved from the dog food boxes to a massive filing system including not only Dr. Ward’s patients but the new partnering physicians Dr. Frederick Kirchner, Dr. Bruce Henderson, Dr. Ellen Berg, and Dr. Bryan Vekovius. When the partners decided to move what is now the Highland Clinic Ophthalmology practice from Fairfield Avenue to the current Ashley Ridge facility in 2008, Dr. Ward retired. Nancy was hesitant that she’d have a place with the group moving forward, as she had always been Dr. Ward’s right hand. She was offered other opportunities, but after prayer turned it down with no sure future ahead. Of course, in Godly fashion, the very next day, Dr. Henderson and the other physicians asked Nancy to come with them; and the rest is both her history and her continued future. ..