GLANDORF — Brice Musser’s interest in optometry begin when he was in seventh grade. He retired April 9 after serving in the profession for 50 years.
Musser, 74, has been an optometrist at Brice R. Musser O.D. since 1971, when he opened the practice. The business’s name has changed to Glandorf Vision Group, 102 Dr. Thatye Drive, Glandorf, and welcomed Dr. Lindsey Kentner to its optometry practice, along with Musser’s former practice partner, Dr. Jesselyn Miller.
He has been looking for the right people to take over the practice and said Kentner and Miller will do a wonderful job, noting he found two excellent optometrists.
He decided to retire to spend more time with his family. He recalled where his love for the profession began.
“Dr. Gene CaJacob in Lima interested me in optometry and was my eye doctor when I was in seventh grade. I liked the idea of helping patients and learning about the instruments, like the lenses,” Musser said.
Musser earned his bachelor’s degree in physiological optics in 1967 from Ohio State University and doctor of optometry in 1969. His first job was serving as an optometrist in the Army from 1969 to 1971.
“I was in the Medical Service Corp. and did administrative work, and it was great experience to start a practice,” Musser said. He gave eye exams to men who were getting certified to receive their pilot’s licenses in the Army. He also provided eye care for the service members’ families.
His wife, Carolyn, was a Red Cross volunteer in the Army scheduling Musser’s patients’ eye appointments and was an optician in her husband’s practice.
After getting out of the Army, he started his practice in Ottawa on Main Street in 1971. He provided family eye care services. He stressed the importance of eye exams.
“Eye exams can help detect health problems, such as high blood pressure or if they have a brain tumor,” Musser said.
He advised it is important to receive an eye exam once a year and said doctors can detect eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, among others.
He has enjoyed working with his coworkers over the years. He noted he worked with Joan Ellerbrock, an optrometric assistant, for 30 years; Dianne Abshire, an optician, for 30 years; Chris Hoehn, an administrative assistant, for 25 years; and Judy Riepenhoff, an optometric assistant, who retired the same week as Musser.
“I will also miss the patients who always had new stories everyday and getting to meet farmers and teachers and a diverse population of people,” Musser said.
Changes he has seen over the years in the optometry profession are computers being used to assist with eye exams and the development of health and vision insurance.
He received the Young Optometrist of the Year award from the state of Ohio in the ‘70s for community service and helping establish laws for optometry at the state level.
In his retirement, he has plans to spend time with his family, garden, travel and continue to be active in the alumni band at Ohio State, playing the alto horn. He also will remain active in Ottawa-Glandorf Kiwanis, Trinity United Methodist Church, attend Ottawa-Glandorf basketball and football games and spend time at his lake property.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.