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New Year & New Challenges at Hospice of Laurens County


On December 16, I transitioned from community liaison/marketing director to executive director at Hospice of Laurens County.

I am honored and grateful to have this opportunity to lead our team and ensure our community receives excellent health care. Over the past two weeks I have received an incredible amount of congratulatory phone calls, texts, e-mails, and visits which are much appreciated.

When writing a normal column for the newspaper, I usually focus on the hospice benefit or how our agency can help those patients and families dealing with a terminal illness. This month I would like for you the reader, to understand who I am and my journey.

I was born in 1972 and grew up in Cross Hill. My parents Julian and Sissy Wilson bought a house on Longview Road in 1971 and have resided in the same home over the past 44 years.

I grew up with a great support system and I was blessed with tremendous parents and a younger brother Jeremy. Jeremy and I, along with the few neighborhood kids, spent countless hours playing ball, riding bikes, and making each day an adventure.

Mom and Dad always found a way to provide for us and I am grateful for that. They also taught us responsibility and how to do “chores.” I can remember helping my dad with the firewood. He would cut wood and Jeremy and I would carry and stack on the back porch.

As a young boy, I can remember “going to work” for my grandparents. In 1970 they opened Lakeview Motel near Lake Greenwood. This business had it all, lake access with a large fishing pier, a small fishing pond and a coke machine (the vintage type with the cold bottles).

Although I “played hard”, my grandparents taught me how to work hard as well. From cutting grass and cleaning up I developed a strong work ethic at a young age.

As a teenager I quickly learned that investing in myself academically and athletically was well worth it. At both Bell Street Middle and Clinton High, I had great teachers and coaches along the way that helped mold me into becoming who I am today.

Coach Keith Richardson was very influential when I played football for him. He expected excellence and for me to push myself to be the best I could be. Even today 25 years later I think about how he and others instilled the importance of a strong work ethic.

While college was fun, it was very challenging for me. While attending Lander University I always worked 2-3 jobs to help my parents with the costs of housing, books, clothes and tuition.

From painting during the summer break to working at Greenwood Mills at night, these various jobs helped me to become the first on my father’s side of the family to earn a four-year college degree.

After college graduation I would marry my college sweetheart in 1997. Following her graduation from Clemson, Tanya began her career as a teacher in Clinton.

We bought a home here in 1997, then moved to a larger home in 2006.  Tanya and I have two children. Hannah is 17 and Davis is 12.

After several years of traveling for large companies, I decided to work closer to home. In 2008 I went to work for a hospice organization in Spartanburg. In April of 2010 I received a phone call from Linda Brown (executive director) at Hospice of Laurens County. She asked if I would be interested in working for one of the best hospice organizations in the state.

I accepted and enjoyed the next five years of building relationships in Laurens County and marketing a product that I whole-heartedly believe in.

As a look back at my life I truly believe God has His hands in all that we do. If you have a question about hospice please contact me at 864-833-6287. I am here to help.

(Jay Wilson is executive director of Hospice of Laurens County.0