Complete Story

Donald A. Petrie, OD

Donald A. Petrie, O.D., passed away peacefully at home in July 2021 with his wife, Barbara (His “Lovee’), giving him tender, loving care.  They celebrated 50 years together on July 4th and treasured their memories of family and friends.

Don was born in North Bergen, NJ, to Lottie Werneking and Frederick Raymond Petrie.  He graduated Union Hill High in January 1950, Undergraduate New York University 1950-52, earning a B.S. from Illinois College of Optometry in 1954 and Doctor of Optometry in 1955.

Don served in the United States Army as an Optometrist in the hospital at Fort Dix in NJ and started private practice in Wyckoff, NJ in 1958, where he spent 27 years lovingly caring for his patients.

Don was Secretary of the Bergen Passaic Optometric Society for 20 years and served as President from 1980-1982. He was honored as Optometrist of the Year in 1974 and served as liaison to the NJ Legislature from 1980-1984, and was very active with the Vision Crusade Foundation for twenty years. 

The American Optometric Association, NJSOP, and Bergen Passaic Optometric Society all granted the honor of Life Member status to Don in 1985. 

It was with great excitement as well as trepidation that Don turned his practice over to the very capable Dr. Ronald N. Cauchard, who Don had brought into the practice five years earlier.

Don and Barbara fulfilled their dream of travel in their RV, as well as world travel to Germany, Ireland, China, and many more countries along the way.  They had a “home base” on Fort Myers Beach for 22 years as “snowbirds.”

RV-ing was the perfect way to visit each of their children, Laura, Glenn and Craig in California and Mary, Cindy and Jim respectively in Vermont, Virginia and NJ.  The grandchildren loved spending time with Grandpa and Grandma in the RV, as well at our second home at Lake Tahoe from 1995-2007.

Don was diagnosed with cancer in December 2007 at the age of 75.

We were thankful that we had retired early and were able to travel extensively and have fun with our family and friends while we were still young.  Don passed at 88 years and 8 months with no regrets.

Don was also a Very Active Lion in NJ, FL, and NC for over 60 years!

A remarkable man, he will be missed by all who loved him.

(Submitted by Dr. Petrie's wife, Barbara)

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