Dr. Jerry Williams spoke to Kiwanis telling some of his life story to the group. He joined the National Guard at age 16. He went to college at what was then known as Southwestern in Pre-Med. Then he went to Memphis to Optometry school. His dad took care of his college expenses so he had no debt when he graduated. He also met and married Guen in Memphis. Two months after graduation he was drafted and ended up at Walter Reed Hospital. He worked with the development of the contact lens. These lens were used for soldiers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Some of the notables he saw at Walter Reed included the Shah of Iran, President Eisenhower, and George Marshall. He had a six year obligation to the military.
He came to Winnfield by way of Ruston, La. He worked for an optometrist in Ruston who sent him to a satellite office in Winnfield a few days a week. Business was good in Winnfield and Dr. Williams asked to buy the Winnfield office. The first office in Winnfield was where the First Baptist gym is located.
Dr. Jack Evans was a dentist in town who office was located in the Martin Hospital. He needed to move because the hospital needed more room. Dr. Evans asked Dr. Williams if he would go in with him to build an office. Dr. Williams had the lot and Dr. Evans put up the money and they built the building where Dr. Gaddis and Dr. Williams (before retirement) are now located. Dr. Williams retired a few months ago being the longest practicing optometrist in the country.
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