AOA mourns the passing of former President Victor Connors

AOA mourns the passing of former President Victor Connors

"Dr. Connors will forever remain in the hearts and minds of Wisconsin optometrists."

It is with great sadness that AOA notes the passing of Past President Victor J. Connors, O.D., 68, on June 6, 2016. An ardent ambassador of optometry, both nationally and internationally, Dr. Connors devoted a lifetime toward furthering vision care for his patients and his profession.

A native of Wonewoc, Wisconsin, Dr. Connors graduated from Illinois College of Optometry in 1971 and opened a private practice that same year in Middleton, Wisconsin. It was here that Dr. Connors became an active civic and philanthropic leader, a characteristic that would drive him to become president of the Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) in 1987. He was instrumental in helping doctors of optometry gain prescribing privileges in Wisconsin and other states, and was awarded the WOA Optometrist of the Year Award in 1990.

Continuing that desire to advance optometry, Dr. Connors took his leadership skills to the AOA Board of Trustees in 1997 and was elected the 82nd president of AOA in 2003.

Dr. Connors was influential in launching Optometry Giving Sight in the United States, serving as CEO between 2005 and 2010. In 2006, Dr. Connors was elected president of the World Council of Optometry (WCO), representing 78 member organizations and 250,000 doctors of optometry worldwide.

"Dr. Connors will be remembered for his contagious enthusiasm for our profession, as well as his warmth and dogged determination to move the profession forward," says Steven A. Loomis, O.D., AOA president. "He will be greatly missed."

Callie Enyart, O.D., WOA president, adds, "Dr. Connors had an unprecedented impact on optometry in Wisconsin, which will likely never be equaled. Vic led the way in our TPA efforts in the late 1980s and has guided our profession through many initiatives since that time. He has served both as an inspiration and mentor to Wisconsin doctors and continued his representation of our profession as a member of the Wisconsin Optometric Examining Board until his passing. Dr. Connors will forever remain in the hearts and minds of Wisconsin optometrists."

Susan Cooper, O.D., WCO immediate past president, reflects on Dr. Connors' work as WCO president and with Optometry Giving Sight: "Vic's commitment was not only to optometry in Wisconsin and the U.S., but also to advancing optometry around the globe. Few leaders have touched so many lives around the world and WCO was privileged to have benefited from his unique talents."

AOA offers its sincerest condolences to the family of Dr. Connors, as well as to his colleagues in Wisconsin.

Visitation will be held at Gunderson West Funeral Home in Middleton from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2016, with a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Online condolences may be made at gundersonfh.com.

June 9, 2016

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