Retiring optometrist sets sights on new experiences

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Changing Focus

Community: Dr Zieg

Dr. John Zieg, Canby’s beloved optometrist, prepares for retirement as he brings his 40-year practice to a close. His official retirement begins on June 26, but Dr. Zieg will grace Canby Vision Clinic a few weeks longer for follow-ups, adjustments and to “wrap up any loose ends,” he says.

Reflecting upon his longevity as an optometrist in Canby and attending to his third-generation patients, he expresses, “That’s been fun!” He adds, “Some have come in here when they were little kids in strollers; now I’m seeing them grown up — adults. That’s something else.” He says lightheartedly, “Time marches on.”

Speaking of time, Dr. Zieg’s retirement will allow him to pursue new hobbies and interests that had to be set aside in lieu of work and everyday life. “I’d like to learn how to fish; that’s something I plan on doing,” he says. “I’d also like to do a little woodworking — I’ve always wanted to but just never got around to it.” DIY projects around the home, as well as taking over household duties while his wife (who’s a few years younger) continues to work, are also included in the initial phase of Dr. Zieg’s retirement plan.

Moving to Canby with his family in 1962, young John Zieg was in second grade when his dad Albert established the optometry practice. “I remember when there was one light in town and that was it,” he recalls. Over the years, he has watched Canby grow to what some might call a bedroom community. “A lot of people work out of town,” he notes. “Canby’s a nice location for anybody who has to go to Salem or the Portland area.” He also mentions that it’s nice to see big facilities like Columbia Distributor come to town and contribute to growing the community.

A member of the Sons of the American Legion, Dr. Zieg will continue volunteering for hamburger feeds, parades, color guard and decorating graves with flags. Additionally, over the last 30 years, he’s been a volunteer driver for Meals On Wheels at the Canby Adult Center, and he may increase his involvement by driving seniors to doctor appointments and grocery stores, etc. “I might even find a part-time job somewhere,” he says, admitting that he loves being around people, and after 40 years of engagement with patients and staff, he’s going to miss that.

“I appreciate the loyalty of the patients entrusting me with their vision needs. It’s been quite a memorable trip,” Dr. Zieg acknowledges. “I’ve made some good friendships over the years, and I look forward to seeing you [around town].”