''It was an exciting time to be a part of this profession,'' said Dr. Gary A. Hyde of Howland, who is retiring after 45 years as an optometrist, 38 of which were spent in Howland.
Hyde has turned his practice at the Howland Medical Clinic over to Thomas Grischow and Rebecca Brown.
''There have been a lot of changes in the optometrist profession,'' Hyde said.
Howland Community News / Kathleen Evanoff
Thomas Grischow, left, and Rebecca Brown will be taking over the practice of Gary A. Hyde at the Howland Medical Clinic, 199 Niles Cortland Road S.E. Hyde has retired after 45 years, 38 of which were spent in Howland.
Hyde, a graduate of Bristol Township High School, took his pre-optometry training at Kent State University. He then pursued a degree in Optometry at The Ohio State University and obtained his license to practice in the state of Ohio. During the mid-1960's, Hyde worked as an Optometry officer in the U.S. Navy where he was the sole optometrist in charge of the clinic at the Naval Air Station near Lemoore, Calif.
''It was a great learning experience,'' Hyde said.
During his work at the Naval Base, he worked with both reserve and active duty soldiers and was exposed to many pathological and other eye diseases.
''The biggest change (in optometry) over the years is due to increased education and new treatment of eye diseases,'' Hyde said. ''It has been a real boon for patients,'' he said, ''resulting in better outcomes.''
Hyde credits the advances in optometry with new developments in treatments and technology. He also credits the community of Howland.
''It is very rewarding to work and live here,'' he said. ''The people of this community support each other.''
Treating families from one generation to the next also has been a rewarding experience, Hyde said. The field of eye care is so promising that young people choosing to pursue the optometry field may find the best is yet to come, he said.
After seeing his last patient on June 28, Hyde plans to spend his time enjoying his grandchildren with his wife, Nancy. The Hyde's have four daughters and 11 grandchildren. He also plans to work on the landscaping at his Howland home and to do more hunting and fishing.
All of the current patients at the Howland Medical Clinic will continue to be served by Drs. Grischow and Brown. The clinic serves patients of all ages, including infants. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. The office is located at 199 Niles Cortland Road S.E. For more information, call 330-856-1782.