Fall 2014
ICO Matters In Memoriam cover photo Fall 2014

In Memoriam Fall 2014


John N. Schoen, NICO, Owatonna, Minn., May 30. He practiced optometry in Owatonna for 50 years, retiring in 1989. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Owatonna since 1941, life member of the Medford Knights of Columbus and was named to the KC Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also active in Owatonna Elks and the American Academy of Optometry.


Peter Pappas, MCO, Palos Heights, Ill., Oct. 6. Throughout his long career, he was known for putting the needs of his patients before his own and providing optometric services to patients with lower incomes.


Wilbur “Mason” Isiminger, NICO, Moundsville, W. Va., Sept. 28. In 1941, he joined the Air Force and served as a courier under General Harold “Hap” Arnold in the Pacific theater. After the D-Day invasion, he served in France and was in combat during the Battle of Bulge. He practiced optometry for 53 years before retiring in 2001. He served on the West Virginia State Board of Optometry and was the past president of the West Virginia Optometric Association.

William A. Putnam, NICO, Simpsonville, S.C., June 2. He served in a special unit during World War II. He provided optometric services to upstate residents for over 50 years and donated his time to help children without access to vision care. He also enjoyed playing chess and was the South Carolina Master Chess Champion in his mid-60s.

Eugene E. Rood, NICO, Green Bay, Wis., May 27. He practiced in Green Bay for 48 years, retiring in 1990. He was a member of the American Optometric Association for more than 60 years.


Donald Adler, NICO, Memphis, Tenn., June 20. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He spent his entire optometric career in Meridian, Tenn., and was a life member of the Mississippi Optometric Association. He practiced for over 50 years and often provided optometric services to those who could not afford it. He was a stalwart at the Meridian Bridge Club, a life master in contract bridge and participated in many bridge tournaments throughout the south.

Robert A. Halfacre, NICO, Boaz, Ala., May 29. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as an aviation radioman. He practiced optometry for over 50 years.

Paul Hughes, CCO, Wheaton, Ill., Oct. 10. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, where he received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Marvin Kasik, NICO, Owings Mills, Md., Jan. 16. He served in the Medical Corps during World War II. In 1967, he earned a master of education degree from Loyola College. He practiced in Westminster, Md., for 45 years and served as adjunct professor at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He was on staff at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and an optometric consultant for the Veterans Administration Hospitals in Maryland. He served as a professional mentor to his daughter, Karen Norman, OD ’77.

Charles George Metcalf, NICO, Cherryville, N.C., Aug. 22. He died on his 91st birthday. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and achieved the rank of lieutenant junior grade. He served in the Pacific and in the northern Atlantic during World War II. He practiced optometry for 40 years.

Donza Worden, NICO, Parkersburg, W. Va., Oct 4. He joined the U.S. Navy at age 17 and served during World War II. He founded Optometric Physicians of Parkersburg. In 1976, he was elected to the West Virginia legislature, where he served four terms. One of his biggest accomplishments was the passage of the bill allowing optometrists to prescribe medications for their patients, making West Virginia the first state in the nation to allow this practice. This achievement was acknowledged by the American Optometric Association as “the fourth most momentous achievement in the practice of optometry.”

Theodore Touru “Ted” Yenari, NICO, Mandeville, La., May 17. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Philippines and Okinawa after attending the Military Intelligence Service language school. He was assigned to the 11th Airborne Division and was in the first unit that landed in Japan after the surrender. In 1991, at the age of 72, he won a gold medal in weight lifting in the Senior World Weight Lifting Competition in Germany. He was inducted into the Louisiana State Senior Olympic Hall of Fame in 1997.


Melvin Balsom, NICO, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 11. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was a decorated veteran. He practiced optometry for more than 60 years and was a pioneer in the use of visual training to help children with learning disabilities.


Henry Berardi, CCO, Bridgeport, W. VA., Aug. 15. He served in the U.S. Army from 1939 through 1969, serving both in World War II and the Korean War and retiring as colonel. He was awarded the Military Order of Merit by Syngman Rhee, South Korea’s first president. After retiring from the military, he opened a private practice in Bridgeport.

Joseph B. Ebbesen, NICO, DeKalb, Ill., Sept. 7. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 18 and served in World War II. Shortly after graduating from NICO, he merged practices with two other optometrists, forming DeKalb Optometric, the largest eye care practice in DeKalb County. He served as mayor of DeKalb from 1965-69. In 1972, he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly and served six consecutive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives. He also served five years on the Illinois State Board of Regents for Higher Education and was a former ICO Board of Trustee member.

Robert Leonard Strait, NICO, Eau Claire, Wis., July 23. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In 1962 he opened a practice in Cornell, Wis., where he practiced until his retirement in 1996.

John K. Trumbo, NICO, Naples, Fla., Jan. 13. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He practiced optometry in Wisconsin before retiring to Florida.


Jack C. Chase, CCO, Scott Bar, Calif., March 9. 1954 Robert W. Ebbers, CCO, Bartlett, Tenn., Sept. 29. He began his career as an optometrist in the U.S. Air Force. After retiring from service as a major, he joined the faculty at Southern College of Optometry.


Norbert T. Patterson, Harvard, Ill., Oct. 3. After serving for six months in the National Guard, he opened his practice in 1958, where he practiced until his retirement in November 2013. He was an active member of the Harvard Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the town’s Milk Days committee. He was also a member of the Harvard Rotary since 1959, and achieved 50 years of perfect attendance.


Norman W. Jackson, Canfield, Ohio, April 3. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was one of the first doctors of optometry to be selected to the Gesell Institute of Child Development in New Haven, Conn. He authored Understanding Your Child’s Mind and was working on another publication about child development.


S. Brian McPhail, New London, Wis., Nov. 22, 2013. He practiced in New London for 40 years. He was a member of both the Wisconsin Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. He also served as president of New London Family Medical Center, the St. Joseph Nursing Home board and the New London Chamber of Commerce.


Michael D. Caplia, Boca Raton, Fla., March 31. He provided eye care for over 20 years in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, and was known as the “Island Eye Doc.”


Kenneth Purdue, Viroqua, Wis., Sept. 17. He practiced in Viroqua for 35 years. He married his high school sweetheart, and they recently celebrated their 40th anniversary together.


Martin P. Davilli, Agawam, Mass., July 3. He owned a private practice, Ludlow Eye Associates.

To submit your news and announcements for Class Notes or In Memoriam, click here.

The following abbreviations denote predecessor names of the Illinois College of Optometry.
NICO: Northern Illinois College of Optometry
CCO: Chicago College of Optometry
MCO: Monroe College of Optometry
Northern Illinois College of Optometry Chicago College of Optometry Monroe College of Optometry

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