The end of 2017 also marked the end of a long-time Houston business: St. John Chiropractic Office PC. But the business (on First Street downtown) continues under another name – Wilson Family Chiropractic LLC – as Dr. Kalenna Wilson has purchased the building and practice of the late Dr. Gerald St. John, who passed away suddenly in December 2016.

Wilson is a Summersville resident and native who had been working for St. John for the past seven years. Her relationship with him began as a patient, and when she graduated from Drury University in Springfield she asked him if she could go into practice with him if she became a chiropractor.

St. John told Wilson that he would consider the idea if she learned the techniques, and she subsequently enrolled at Cleveland University/Chiropractic College in Kansas City.

Since St. John was an adjunct professor for both Cleveland and a St. Louis chiropractic institution, Wilson was able to spend her final semester in the preceptorship program working in St. John’s office.

Wilson graduated as valedictorian of her class in May 2011 and immediately joined St. John’s staff.

St. John arrived in Texas County in June 1970 and established a practice in Summersville. He moved his office to Houston in 1982.

Over the years, St. John often commented on how he hoped his successor would be someone who used non-force technique, loved Jesus, loved the patients and had integrity. His wife, Beverly St. John, said he felt Wilson incorporated all of those traits and if he had interviewed 100 potential candidates, he couldn’t have found anyone better to carry on his legacy.

“It’s exciting,” Wilson said. “We miss Doc like crazy, but I’m very blessed with the years I got to spend side-by-side with him. We know he’s watching over us, so he’s still with us every day.”

Beverly said she had never met Wilson until she came to finish her schooling.

“I knew most of her family and even worked with her grandfather,” she said.

“He and I were EMTs and helped establish the Mountain View/Summersville Ambulance District way back in the ’70s. We made numerous ambulance runs all over the state together.

“We knew the family and their work ethic, so when Dr. Wilson came to join the practice, my husband and I were very grateful to have not only a respected colleague, but also one who was like a daughter.”

Beverly said it took “about 15 minutes” for she and Wilson to negotiate a contract.

“But unfortunately, it took a year to jump through all the legal hoops to get things transferred,” she said. “She has run the practice for the past year, and the only complaint I’ve heard is that she’s so busy it’s hard to get an appointment. She has made some changes, mostly in decor. The office is more kid-friendly and exhibits her love of the outdoors.”

“The years I spent with Doc made the transition easier,” Wilson said, “but, of course, he had really big shoes to fill. He also has a big patient base with amazing patients, and they’ve really helped us and supported us.”

Wilson and her husband, Shan Wilson (who is a dentist and part owner of Houston Family Dentistry), are avid hunters and are also archery experts who have earned many awards and own “8-Up Archery,” a family-friendly archery range at Summersville.

Wilson said that she’ll be the only doctor at the practice for the foreseeable future.

“Doc ran it for 40 years by himself,” she said. “It’s busy and it keeps us hopping, but for right now there are no other plans.”

The phone number at Wilson Family Chiropractic is 417-967-2470.

“I really want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone for the support and for hanging with us for this past year,” Wilson said. “Doc passed away so suddenly, everybody kind of got thrown into his being gone. The patients were as shocked as we were, and they’ve all been amazingly understanding and supportive and have helped us in any way they could.

“All the thoughts, prayers and kind words have really kept us going.”

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