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Summer 2024







Barbara Jean (Krall) Schaer (NICO), 101, passed away on May 13, 2024, in Chaska, MN. Barbara was born on July 6,1922, in Tyndall, SD. In 1945 she graduated from NICO as a Tomb and Key Honor Society Member. Barbara practiced optometry with her father, nephew Dr. Charles Krall, and her brother Leonard, an Optician, in Mitchell, SD. She was a member of the American Optometric Association, the South Dakota Optometric Society, and the Wisconsin Optometric Association. She was also a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority in Mitchell and at one time was listed in Who's Who of American Women.


W.R. “Bob” Fordham (NICO), 92, passed away on September 18, 2016, in Powell, WY. Bob was born at his grandmother’s house in Holyrood, Kansas, on May 16, 1924. When World War II started, Bob was a senior in high school. He volunteered for the draft and joined the Army, where he served in France, Scotland, England, Belgium, Germany and the European Theater. On December 16, 1944, he lost his entire squad in a battle with Germany. Bob surrendered and was taken as a Prisoner of War. He found it hard to talk about his journey and story for many years after. He was proud of his service to his country.

He married Patricia Lindstrom, on May 25, 1949. Together they raised four children. He was a lifelong Kiwanis member, an avid supporter of the Powell Community and loved to serve and sing in the choir as a member of the Presbyterian Church.



Omer Vance Austin (NICO), 95, passed away peacefully on May 10, 2024, in Crystal River, PA. Vance was born in Smithfield, PA on April 10, 1929. He married Dorla Jean Firestone, on May 19, 1951. Vance served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War years. While stationed in Texas, he provided optometric services to both Army and Air Force

personnel. Upon his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1955, Vance and Dorla moved to Levittown, PA, where he performed eye exams and corrective lenses for patients in the evenings at his home office in Pennsylvania.

Gifford "Jerry" McBride (NICO), Jr., 99, passed away on October 4, 2023 in Oklahoma City, OK. He was born January 12, 1924, in Monrovia, CA. He graduated in 1950 with honors from the Northern Illinois College of Optometry. Gifford practiced optometry in Oklahoma City for two years before starting his own practice in Midwest City, where he practiced for more than 65 years. Gifford was also chairman and secretary of the Central District of the Oklahoma

Optometric Association. He also served on the national board of directors of the American Optometric Association.


Morris "Doc" Galey (CCO), 93, passed away on February 20, 2024, in Tuscola, IL. Dr. Galey was born on August 22, 1930, in Martinsville, IL. He married Patricia Jean Snodgrass on January 26, 1957. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War. He and his wife worked together for 36 years at their optometry office in Tuscola, IL. Doc also worked for Sears Optical and Walmart Vision Centers in

Savoy and Mattoon (IL). He worked as an optometrist for a total of 48 years until his retirement in 2011.


Ronald Kendrick (ICO), 97, passed away on December 20, 2023 in Toledo, OH. He served his country in WWII as a member of the Army’s 3rd Armored Division. With the aid of the GI Bill he received his undergraduate training at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He enjoyed his association with the Eye Institute of Northwest Ohio for many years before retiring.

Danny McCauley Chapman (NICO), 93, passed away on March 27, 2024 in Sioux City, IA. He was born March 3, 1931 in Lake City, IA, where he met his wife, fellow classmate Coleen Lawrence. He and Coleen were married September 9, 1951. After earning his optometric degree in 1954, they moved to Des Moines where he worked at Morgan Optical. In 1964 the family moved to Sioux City where Dan worked many years at Duling Optical, then Vision Optical.



Phillip Maroudis (ICO), 85, passed away peacefully in Ashland, KY. Phillip was born in Icaria, Greece in 1938. He served his country in the Navy at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. Following his service, he opened his practice in Ashland, KY, where he faithfully treated generations of patients for decades.

Kenneth E. Paulsen (ICO), 89, passed away on March 3, 2024 in Seward, NE. Kenny grew up in the Cordova and Beaver Crossing areas of Nebraska. He then went on to attend Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, where he received a biology degree. On August 5, 1956, Ken married Joyce Hock. Kenny attended Illinois College of Optometry. in Chicago, graduating with honors in 1961. He was a

partner at Seward Vision Clinic from 1961 until 1994.

Darrell Schlange (ICO), It is with great sadness that the ICO community announces the passing of Darrell Schlange, OD, ’64 on

March 10, 2024. We are deeply saddened by the loss of such

an important member of our family; an alum, a committed

faculty member who achieved emeritus status at retirement, a lifelong teacher and learner.

Dr. Schlange taught and mentored over 7,400 ICO Alumni over the course of his 56 years of teaching, generously giving his time and talent to the advancement of the profession and the mentorship

of the future generations of optometrists. Even in retirement, Dr. Schlange remained an integral and active part of ICO, continuing in a part-time capacity and pursuing some of his research interests that

were delayed by the pandemic. A prolific author and research contributor to the professional literature, his legacy lives on through his work and his students.

In 2022, Dr. Schlange and his wife Ruth, created The Darrell G. Schlange, OD Scholarship Endowment for Excellence in Pediatric Optometry. When asked why he decided to endow a scholarship, Dr. Schlange stated, "I've devoted my life to teaching and to

students. I wanted to continue my commitment to helping students with their education and the practice of pediatric optometry for generations to come. Additionally, I hope to inspire and encourage

others to do the same. Alumni are a key part of our strength and have demonstrated steadfast dedication to our students throughout the history of ICO and optometry," he continued. "We are setting examples for others. The importance of one person, the impact you can make – it is powerful what you can do and the lives we can influence."

In honoring the legacy of Dr. Schlange, his family has requested that donations be made in his memory to The Darrell G. Schlange, OD Scholarship Endowment for Excellence in Pediatric Optometry.


Larry Hagen (ICO), 83, passed away on April 4, 2024, in Merrill, WI. Larry was born April 2, 1941 in Ambrose, ND. He married Janet Fredenburg on June 23, 1963, in Crosby, ND. He began practicing optometry in Minnesota and purchased a practice in Tomahawk, WI in 1968. He practiced there until his retirement in 2007


Alan R. Paymer (ICO), 84, passed away on January 20, 2024 in St Paul, MN. Alan was born January 4, 1940 in St. Paul. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1962, and went on to graduate from the Illinois College of Optometry Summa Cum Laude and Valedictorian in 1967. That same year, he founded his optometric practice, Eagan Eye Clinic. He was an active member of the Minnesota Optometric Association, serving as the president in 1981, and served on the Board of Optometry for the state of Minnesota from 1986 to 1990. He retired from his practice in 2005.



John Paul Gabriel (ICO), 76, passed away on October 10, 2023, in Palos Hills, IL. John was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and spent most of his childhood in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood. John and Kathleen married in 1968. John established his optometric practice in Brighton Park where he served beloved patients for nearly 40 years. John rejoined the Army in the reserves as a Commissioned Officer Optometric Doctor and served the Fort Sheridan Garrison for a decade.






Friends and Family


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

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