Former Kent ophthalmologist Don VanDyke dies at age 95
By David E. Dix
Dr. Don VanDyke, who practiced ophthalmology at his office in Kent for 19 years before moving to Oberlin to join the Oberlin Clinic died on June 22 at the age of 95.
VanDyke and his wife, Mary Louise, were active in the community when they were in Kent serving in numerous capacities in the United Church of Kent and in Rotary. He was instrumental in helping bring the American Field Service program to Kent in the early 1960s and is remembered by those participating in the program who came from Germany, Italy, Denmark, Africa, and England.
The VanDykes continued their community involvement after moving to Oberlin. VanDyke served on the United Church Board of World Ministries and volunteered for half a year at The Rambo Eye Clinic in Mungeli, a village in central India. He also participated in eye clinics in The Dominican Republic and Guatemala. He was presented the Community Service Award for his involvement in Oberlin College and First Church of Oberlin. He was a member of the American Medical Society, the Medical Honor Society Alpha Omega Alpha, Oberlin Alumni Association, Oberlin Business Partnerships, the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association, Oberlin Rotary, and The Heritage Society. He also played a role in helping bring The Kendal Corporation to Oberlin and was a founding resident moving in at the start in 1993.
An unassuming man, VanDyke preferred to work in the background as an enabler, always seeking ways to ease, enlighten and solve problems for others.
A veteran of World War II, he was drafted while in college at Oberlin and served with the 8th Armored Division in Europe in the Ruhr and other campaigns, earning three bronze stars and the Purple Heart. Following military service, he returned to Oberlin completing his studies before enrolling at Western Reserve Medical School followed by a two-year residency at Indiana University Hospitals.
Born Aug. 29, 1925, in Canton, to Dr. and Mrs. Frank VanDyke, he is survived by his wife, Mary Louise.