Spring 2018
ICO Matters In Memoriam cover photo Spring 2018

In Memoriam Spring 2018



Melvin Bernard (NICO), Dubuque, Iowa., Nov. 1, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army in the 2208 Trucking Company and the 1585 Trucking Battalion in the European Theater during WWII. In 1949, he opened a practice in Makquoketa. After practicing for 45 years, he semi-retired and sold his practice to David Sybesma, OD ’92. He was an FCOVD and FAAO, a member of the AOA and IOA, and completed nine VOSH trips to Mexico.

Edward M. Jacobson (NICO), Rice Lake, Wis., Feb. 19, 2017. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He participated in the Bougainvillea campaign in the British Solomon Islands and was stationed in Guadalcanal and Guam. He opened a practice in Rice Lake in 1949 and was well-known as a leader in numerous community, church, and professional organizations.


Alexander M. “Buddy” Culbreth, Jr. (NICO), Valdosta, Ga., June 10, 2017. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a staff optometry officer before returning to Georgia to begin his optometry career. He practiced optometry for 64 years. As a young man, he was inducted into the Valdosta High School Sports Hall of Fame and went on to play semi-professional baseball.

Russell G. Young (NICO), Lake Worth, Fla., July 3, 2017. He served in the U.S. Navy as an aviation electronic technician for fire and flight control equipment, instructing pilots in the use of bomb sight and other secret devices. He opened a private practice in Lake Worth in 1950 and retired in 1993. After retirement, he volunteered his services by going on medical trips to Honduras.




James W.R. Watkins (NICO), Dry Ridge, Ky., Nov. 13, 2017. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. While in practice, he was a pioneer in vision therapy and child development.


LeeRoy Joseph Savoie (CCO), Lake Charles, La., Dec. 24. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a Bombardier in the Pacific Theater, eventually becoming a Commander. He practiced optometry in Lake Charles from 1951-2010 and was an active community leader throughout his life. 


Channing R. Smith (NICO), St. Paul, Minn., Oct. 26, 2016. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953-1955, stationed in the Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic in the hospital in Fort Lenard Wood, Mo. After retiring from his practice in Hutcheson, he enjoyed performing fill-in work in many area practices. His community involvement earned him the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellow award from the Lions Club.


Clare S. Janis, Palm Harbor, Fla., Oct. 25, 2017. 




George C. Sheldon, Bella Vista, Ark., Oct. 29, 2017.  He practiced in Fairfield, Iowa, for 32 years before retiring to Bella Vista. He was an accomplished musician, playing the trumpet and cornet and singing in bands, plays, and musicals throughout his life.


Merrill D. Bowman, Oakmont, Pa., Oct. 14, 2017.  He was a leader in the field of behavioral optometry and had a private practice for over 40 years.




Herbert F. Vieweger, Stafford, Va., May 31, 2016. 

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Ruth A. Trachimowicz, OD, PhD, FAAO. Better known as “Dr. T” to students, she will be remembered as one of the Illinois College of Optometry’s most beloved faculty members. Dr. T first came to ICO in 1987 to teach Human Anatomy. As Associate Professor, she eventually taught a variety of basic health science courses and optometry laboratories, and provided patient care in the Primary Care Service.

Dr. T was a major influence on ICO students for 30 years. In 2016, she won an Excellence in Education Award from the ICO Alumni Association, and was chosen by students for the First Year Teacher of the Year Award. The ICO faculty recently voted to permanently name the First Year Teacher of the Year award in her honor.

Dr. T will be remembered fondly as an outstanding teacher with high expectations for her students, a mentor to both students and junior faculty, a beloved colleague, and a dear friend to the ICO community.

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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