Some people are just good people. You know you’re around one of these people by the way they make you feel. You look forward to conversations with them, and it makes your day better when you see them. If you’re lucky, you run into these people every now and then. If you’re very lucky, you might have the chance to work with one of these folks. And if you’re extremely lucky, you’re able to call one of them your friend.
Well, I’m very – extremely – lucky. I’ve had the pleasure of working with LeAnn Rogers for the past 15 years. LeAnn is retiring next month, and it’s hard to put into words how much LeAnn has meant to our business – and to me. The words I would use to describe her - compassionate, helpful, dependable, joyful, kind, selfless, encouraging – while all true, simply don’t do her justice. There is one term, however, that conveys exactly who LeAnn Rogers is: servant of others.
LeAnn has always served others. For the past 44 years (yes, 44!), she has served her patients as an optician. Her optical knowledge and expertise are unmatched, and she develops genuine relationships with her patients. They know and trust her – often going so far as to request her by name. I still remember what one especially particular gentleman told me a few years ago when I tried to adjust his frame. “Nobody ever touches my glasses,” he said. “Besides me and LeAnn Rogers.”
By being a kind, helpful co-worker, LeAnn has also served the other members of her optical team. Given the number of years she has invested into her profession, and given the amount of knowledge she has amassed, you couldn’t blame her if she was a little territorial or condescending. She is neither. Always a team player, LeAnn wants others to succeed. And she has never been above doing the little jobs no one likes to do. It’s not uncommon to see LeAnn sweeping the floor behind a patient who had dirt on their boots. She never complains – in 15 years I can’t remember a single time she complained to me about anything. Instead, she works hard to make our office the best it can be, often going above and beyond what’s in her job description. Countless times over the years, LeAnn has come into the office on her day off to fix someone’s glasses or to pick up something for a patient.
LeAnn, along with her husband Mark, has also served the community. Before COVID-19, Mark and LeAnn were regular fixtures at local nursing homes. Mark would play the guitar and sing to residents, and Leann would adjust their glasses. LeAnn and Mark also served in their church’s nursery for years, and volunteered their time and energy toward many other church activities and outreaches. Their community service didn’t go unnoticed, as they were awarded the Carmi Chamber of Commerce Co-Citizens of the Year award in 2019.
We will never be able to replace LeAnn Rogers at Taylor Eye Care. But we can continue to be inspired by her. We can follow her example of dedication, dependability, empathy, and selflessness. She has made all of us better at what we do, and her influence on us will continue to help us better care for our patients. We can remember how she treated others, and we can allow that to continue to shape us into better people.
As for LeAnn and Mark, they’re going to spend more time doing what they enjoy – travelling, camping, and playing music. I’m certain that LeAnn will continue to be a positive, caring influence on whomever she comes in contact with. She knows she will always be a part of the Taylor Eye Care family, and we hope she stops by to visit often. And she will continue to be my friend. Aren’t I lucky?
Until next time -
Clint Taylor, OD