Longtime Brevard Ophthalmologist Dr. Bill Broussard Passes Away at 85 After Battle With Cancer

By  //  October 1, 2019

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Moved to Brevard in 1967 and established solo Ophthalmology Practice in Melbourne

William J. Broussard, MD, passed away on Monday, August 19, 2019, with his family at his side. Dr. Broussard and his wife, Margaret, founded the Allen Broussard Conservancy, a not-for-profit scientific corporation dedicated to the memory of their son Allen and created for the purpose of purchasing the land and keeping it as a wildlife preserve. Forever Florida, together with the Crescent J Ranch, comprise a 4,700-acre cattle ranch and nature preserve combining “Old Florida” charm with an exciting and educational opportunity to view native animals and plants in their natural environment. The above image is the cover of the July/August 2008 edition of Space Coast Medicine magazine.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – William J. Broussard, MD, passed away on Monday, August 19, 2019, with his family at his side.

He leaves behind his wife of 66 years, Margaret (Reynolds), daughters Dianne Broussard of Toronto (David Hampson), Lynn Broussard McGonagill (George McGonagill) and Laura Broussard (Keith Turner).

He was predeceased by his parents, Alphé A. and Odile Cade Broussard and beloved son, Allen David Broussard, for whom the Allen Broussard Conservancy, Inc., was founded in 1990.

Dr. Broussard, 85, was born in Abbeville, Louisiana on February 14, 1934, and lived a unique frontier-style childhood on the Flying J Ranch in the southwest corner of Louisiana.

His death came as a result of many surgeries and chemotherapy, treatments during his 26-year battle with prostate cancer.

William J. Broussard, MD, passed away on Monday, August 19, 2019, with his family at his side. He leaves behind his wife of 66 years, Margaret (Reynolds), pictured above left with Dr. Broussard at the 2013 Central Florida Humanitarians Award Gala.

Dr. Broussard received a Bachelor of Science degree at LSU in 1955 and Doctor of Medicine from Mayo Memorial Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis in 1959.

His draft deferment ended and military service began at Letterman Army Hospital on the Presidio of San Francisco, California and continued at Fort Jackson Army Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina and the 5th General Army Hospital, Bad Cannstatt, Germany, during the Vietnam War.

His older daughters attended German schools and the family enjoyed three years of learning about Europe’s history, geography and culture with many opportunities for travel all over Western Europe and even into Eastern Europe, across the Iron Curtain.

Dr. Broussard brought his young family of six to Satellite Beach in September of 1967, establishing a solo Ophthalmology Practice in Melbourne.

Dr. Philip Kirk joined him in 1970, followed in later years by other General Ophthalmologists, Ophthalmology sub-specialists and Optometrists making up today’s Florida Eye Associates, which has 10 Ophthalmologists and three Optometrists in four Brevard locations.

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He also served as Chief of Staff of what is now Holmes Regional Medical Center four times in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He also served as President of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology in the 1980s.

In addition to his professional offices, he was an active member of South Brevard’s cultural community, serving on the Melbourne Civic Music Association, Indian River Audubon and Florida Audubon Boards of Directors, among others. During all those years, he also purchased and managed a 1300-acre cattle ranch in Osceola County.

After the untimely death of his son, Allen, he and Margaret founded the Allen Broussard Conservancy to preserve for posterity a 3,200-acre piece of Natural Florida adjoining the ranch that had been divided on paper and sold to some 500 unwitting buyers all over the country, none of whom could ever use their lots.

That largely unspoiled wilderness and the Crescent J Ranch together form Forever Florida, where visitors can enjoy horseback activities, zip lines and other aerial adventures in the pine forest and guided nature tours in elevated trail coaches.

In lieu of flowers, the public is invited to contribute to Friends of Forever Florida, 756 Acacia Avenue, Melbourne Village, Florida 32904.

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