Just mention the name of optometrist David Larsen, OD, in the community, and people will describe an outstanding eye doctor, respected by his patients and colleagues.

For nearly three decades, Tomah area residents came to know and trust Dr. Larsen for all of their vision needs. He joined the Gundersen Tomah Eye Clinic in December 1990 and is retiring from practice Nov. 9. A retirement open house will be held Saturday, Nov. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Ground Round, 201 Helen Walton Drive, Ste. 1, Tomah. All are welcome to stop by to honor his contributions and wish him well.

“Dr. Larsen is a stellar clinician and a stickler for details. He is a strong advocate for his patients. He will be missed by all of us for his keen insights and astute referrals,” says fellow Gundersen optometrist and friend John Sterling, OD.

When Larsen started his career at Gundersen, he was one of three regional optometrists on staff. Fast forward 27 years, and he is now one of 25 optometrists serving more than a dozen Gundersen Health System eye clinics throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

“Dr. Sterling was a great influence on me and encouraged me to join Gundersen,” Larsen said. “I liked what I learned about Gundersen Clinic and Dr. Sterling was, and still is, a great Wisconsin optometrist who helped our profession to get to the level that it is now. I thank him for taking a chance on me when I was hired and for his foresight on the future growth of our department.”

During his tenure, Dr. Larsen was voted Young Optometrist of the Year (1998) by the Wisconsin Optometric Association. He served several years on the WOA Board of Directors, worked closely with the Wisconsin Paraoptometric Association to advance its profession and was a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Larsen said he is proud of his practice.

“What stands out for me is the phenomenal care that Dr. Larsen has given our patients. His attention to detail and diagnostic skills are unsurpassed,” says dispensing optician Mary Messmer, ABOC, who worked alongside Larsen for 21 years.

“I remember when a patient of Dr. Larsen’s came in late in the day having complications from cataract surgery. Dr. Larsen worked with the patient after the clinic closed for the day to lower the pressure and relieve the pain. The patient and family were forever grateful,” said Diane Kincannon, patient liaison at Gundersen Tomah Eye Clinic.

Though Larsen will miss his patients and colleagues who he said have become like family, he looks forward to retirement.

“My wife, Lynne, and I enjoy traveling. I look forward to going out and enjoying life while I am still healthy and able to be active,” Larsen said.

Tina Flick, clinical manager of Gundersen Optometry-Tomah, enjoyed working with Larsen.

“Dr. Larsen has been a wonderful colleague and friend,” Flick said. “His commitment to the care of his patients and staff is to be commended. Dr. Larsen will be sadly missed, but I know that he will not be a stranger. I wish him and his wife, Lynne, nothing but the best and wish them safe travel adventures.”

Dr. Larsen’s patients will be in the hands of Amy Atherton, OD, Gundersen Tomah Eye Clinic’s new optometrist. Dr. Atherton provides primary eye care, treatment and management of ocular disease and contact lens care.