Street section renamed in honor of late Dr. Wilkins

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A section of Comstock Drive where the late Dr. Louie Wilkinsused to have his medical practice will bear his name following adedication ceremony held Tuesday.

Mayor Bob Massengill, City Clerk Mike Jinks and Ward FourAlderwoman Shirley Estes were all on hand as street departmentemployee Billy Case took down the sign bearing the name “ComstockDrive” and replaced it with one saying, “Dr. Louie WilkinsDrive.”

“Dr. Wilkins was well-loved: Everyone that knew him loved him,”said Massengill. “He did so much for so many people.”

Dr. Wilkins’ wife Diana, who also was on hand to see thetransformation, said she was so grateful to city officials forhonoring the memory of her late husband.

“This is such an ongoing tribute to his life, because it’s thereevery time we drive past it,” she said. “I feel like he’s watchingand he knows this is going on, and he’s so proud.”

Massengill told Mrs. Wilkins the street serves as a physicaltribute to her husband, but that his patients’ gratitude wouldalways be a far greater memorial for Dr. Wilkins’ great love forthe people of his community.

“I know that everywhere you go you probably run into someone whotells you how grateful they are for the work he did,” Massengillsaid.

Wilkins’ widow agreed, laughing about how she has to budgetextra time for chatting everywhere she goes.

“Every time I leave the house it takes me an extra hour to gethome,” she said.

Jinks said he had primarily known Dr. Wilkins through FaithPresbyterian Church, which Mrs. Wilkins said was always animportant part of the couple’s life together.

“You are both such wonderful people, and I was blessed beingable to know him,” Jinks said. “He was a really fine man.”

Estes recalled how she had loved seeing Dr. Wilkins andlistening to his colorful anecdotes.

“He always had the most wonderful stories to tell,” she said.”It was always good to see him. He was a great citizen ofBrookhaven.”

Massengill said the change had been proposed by fellow physicianDr. Kyle Bateman, and that the residents of Comstock Drive had beenhappy to change addresses to accommodate the street’s new name.

In addition, Estes pointed out that many of the people who wereloyal to Wilkins’ practice had continued to go to his clinic evenwhen it switched hands.

“People say you can’t pass good will on, but this is a goodexample of the fact that you can,” Estes said.

Deeply moved by the dedication, Mrs. Wilkins said she was justso happy for the legacy left by her husband.

“I can hardly believe it when I look at it,” she said. “It justmeans so much to me.”