Harry "Gene" Horner (MCO), Palatine, Ill., Aug. 28. He served in the U.S. Navy in WWII. He practiced in the Round Lake Beach area for 40 years.
Charles W. Kirk (NICO), Minneapolis, Minn., Aug. 5. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. in WWII and in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean conflict. He practiced in St. Anthony Village, Minn., for 41 years.
Oscar Marquardt (NICO) Alamogordo, N.M., July 26. He established the first eye and vision clinic in Alamogordo County, where he practiced for 62 years. He specialized in vision therapy, and a vision therapy research fellowship endowment was developed in his name at SCO.
Claude McConnell (NICO), Davidson, N.C., Jan. 17. He served in the U.S. Air Force in WWII as a Technica Sergeant/ Flight Engineer/Bombardier with the Eighth Air Force. He practiced in Davidson for 40 years before retiring.
Floyd Mizener (MCO), Darien, Ill., Sept. 7. He proudly served as a U.S. Marine in WWII. He established a practice in Downers Grove and renamed it Naper Grove Vision Care when he added a Naperville location. He dedicated 72 years to the optometric profession and nearly 70 years volunteering for the Downers Grove Lions Club. Throughout his career, he was instrumental in supporting causes and lobbying for legislation that helped the seeing and hearing impaired.
Maurice Palmer (NICO), Albion, Neb., Sept. 13. As an adolescent, he played clarinet under the direction of John Phillips Souza. He served with the Quartermaster Corps. of the Sixth Army during WWII, fighting the Battle of Leyte and receiving the Bronze Star. He served as mayor of Albion and practiced optometry until his retirement in 1994. He was then active in the cattle and hay industry until his death.
Herbert Austin (NICO), Effingham, Ill., Apr. 20. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He practiced optometry until retiring in 1986.
James Hammel (NICO), Yorba Linda, Calif., Sept. 16. He served in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Whellus Air Force Base in Libya for two years. He then transferred to the U.S. Navy, where he served nearly 30 years as an optometrist. He retired from the Navy as a Commander in 1981. He later joined an ophthalmology practice until his 2nd retirement in 1991.
Russell Nielsen (NICO), Cedar Falls, Iowa, May 12. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII in Naval Aviation. He practiced in Cedar Falls for 41 years until retiring in 1990.
L. B. Adkins (NICO), Union, Miss., Nov. 2. He served for two years in the U. S. Navy Medical Corps. during WWII. He practiced optometry for 58 years and served as president of the Miss. Optometric Association and Southern Council of Optometry.
Donald S. Andrews (CCO), Barrington, Ill., Apr. 2.
Richard Glugeth (NICO), Chestnut Hill, Mass., Mar. 11. He served his country during WWII and began his optometric practice in Harvard Square, Cambridge, where he had a long and successful career for 45 years.
Ralph Kirkwood (NICO), Dawson Springs, Ky., Mar. 30. He practiced in Dawson Springs for 38 years before retiring.
James Sexton (NICO), Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Apr. 17. He served in the U.S. Navy Air Corps. during WWII. He practiced optometry for several years before entering into the life insurance industry. He retired as an independent life insurance broker.
William Brockhaus, Jr. (NICO), Janesville, Wis., Mar. 29. He practiced at Eyeworks in Janesville until his retirement.
Ed Leadingham, Roswell, N.M., Oct. 7. He owned Leadingham Vision Center in Roswell with his two sons, Ken Leadingham,OD ’82 and Greg Leadingham, OD ’80 (deceased).
Bruce Fosen, Ocala, Fla., Mar. 23. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Kincheloe Air Force Base in Michigan. He later joined the U.S. Army as a Major and was stationed in Nuremburg, Germany. He received the Army Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. After his discharge, he joined Optical Express, with four practices in Florida.
Dale Palmer, Clarksburg, W.Va., July 14. He owned practices in Nutter Fort and Phillipi, W.Va., until 1993. He then joined the Louis A. Johnson V.A. Hospital in Clarksburg, where he retired in 2005. He was a former President of the W.Va. Optometric Association and was instrumental for obtaining therapeutic writing privileges for optometrists in the state.
James Day, Chicago, Ill., May 15. He practiced in Hickory Hills, Ill. for many years and was a former faculty member at the Illinois College of Optometry.
Donald Ediger, Lincoln, Neb., Mar. 3. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He then opened a practice in Lincoln and retired after 43 years.
Gary Lasken, Peoria, Ill., Sept. 15. He was a member of the Illinois Optometric Association for over 50 years, served as President from 1994-95, and was instrumental in the passage of the therapeutics bill in Illinois. He was a Captain of the Peoria County Sheriff's Auxiliary, where he served for 20 years. He practiced in Peoria for 46 years before retiring to Cape Coral, Fla.
Timothy Miller, Ottawa, Ill., May 31. A fourth generation optometrist, he opened a practice in Ottawa in 1975 and retired after 39 years. He was past president of his local Rotary Club and was a proud Paul Harris Fellow.
David Davenport, Watertown, Wis., Aug. 24. He owned two practices in the Whitewater and Fort Atkinson communities. He was part of a Barbershop Chorus and traveling Statesmen Men's Choir.
Brian Hammes, Fond du Lac, Wis., Apr. 13. He founded Family Focus Eye Care Center in Fond du Lac, now with four doctors and 30 staff. He served on the board of the Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) for many years and served as its President in 2000. He was named WOA's OD of the Year in 2004.
Carolyn Odette, Houston, Texas, July 25. She practiced in Houston from 1989 to 2016. She was a clinical Instructor in the Cornea and Contact Lens and the Adult Clinics at the University Eye Institute of the University of Houston College of Optometry.
Kenneth Schroer, Cincinnati, Ohio, Aug, 17.
Friends and Family
ICO Alumnus and co-founder of the National Optometric Association (NOA), Dr. C. Clayton Powell, died on October, 23 at the age of 93. Dr. Powell was a Morehouse College classmate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and was the only black student in his 1952 class at ICO (then called the Chicago College of Optometry). He was extraordinarily active in optometry school and went on to give Black optometrists a powerful organized voice in the profession when he founded the NOA.
He was dedicated to recruiting more Black students to the profession, and his leadership inspired every member of the NOA. Dr. Powell has served his community in many ways, sitting on multiple boards and sponsoring a scholarship for Black ICO students following in his footsteps.
ICO President, Dr. Mark Colip, remembers first meeting Dr. Powell nearly 30 years ago and was immediately impressed by his determination to get all optometry schools working to get more underrepresented minorities into schools. "I learned a great deal from him and our conversations over the years. He was so passionate." Dr. Colip reflects. "I last saw him at the NOA 50th Anniversary celebration in Atlanta during the summer of 2019. He was so pleased and proud to see the NOA reach such a milestone anniversary."
Dr. Powell's work extended beyond optometry as he was an active member of his community, several fraternities, and the local Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. He also published a book chronicling his life and his beloved city of Atlanta. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Powell, three children and four grandchildren. We wish them peace during this time of remembrance.
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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