My former partner Dr. Dave Brown passed away yesterday due to complications caused by COVID. Dave was a dedicated optometrist, good husband and father and all-around fine man. He will be missed by many.
Dave and I became acquainted when I moved to Nashville to run our eye disease center, VisionAmerica. Dave was on the board of directors, made up of leading optometrists from around the area. As was customary, I went to each of the doctor’s offices to meet them and find out how we could better serve their patients. Dave had his practice in downtown Franklin at the municipal building at that time. Over the years we shared patients back and forth between our eye disease center and his practice.
Eventually, I wanted to transition my practice mode into ownership and primary eye care. Dave was the right person, with the right practice, at the right time. My wife Susan and I got to know he and his wife, Mona and over the course of year-long discussions, which ultimately culminating in me becoming a partner with Dave. We started together and renamed the practice Cool Springs EyeCare in 2000.
Dave was a great partner. He was smart, built trusting relationships and was timely in his care. Since I had been practicing eye disease for so long, I had to be reminded of contact lens parameters, fitting and care as well as the subtle nuances of glasses prescriptions. Dave was always gracious with sharing his knowledge and taught me the practical aspects of optometric eye care. His independence likely prohibited him from working for me as the managing doctor, yet I never begrudged him leaving or continuing to practice in the area.
Though our partnership ended in 2004, we remained aware of each other’s pursuits. Dave told me once that “he could not stay retired as he could only pick up sticks in his driveway for so long!” He continued to see patients and do eye exams in the Franklin area for the past years. And of course, his wife Mona was always by his side. During my work with him we would meet regularly for lunch, he, Mona and me. My enduring memory, both during our partnership and through the times afterward, are of Dave and Mona, together as a couple, eating, talking and just being…together.
I am shocked and saddened by Dave’s untimely passing. I value what I learned from him and the times we shared together in practice. I am saddened for his children, whom he expressed so much love and pride for in each of our conversations. And I am of course feeling for Mona. Dave and she shared a special bond, both at home and at practice. They were an inseparable team. I think Dave knew he had out kicked his coverage and was grateful for every day he had with Mona. And I know she felt the same about him. The community has lost a dedicated and faithful original Franklin-ite.
I am thankful for getting to know Dave, and like so many others, will miss him.
Dr. Jeff Kegarise