Waynesboro optician looks to retirement

April 01, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - More than three decades of service to eyeglass-wearers in the Waynesboro area ended Thursday when William L. Hoos sold his optical business to the ophthalmologist next door and joined the ranks of the retired.

Hoos came to Waynesboro in April 1974 from Baltimore. He bought Joseph H. Baird's optical office on the square. Before that, he worked in a wholesale optical lab in Baltimore for 10 years, first as an apprentice grinding prescriptions, later learning how to sell eyeglasses.

Hoos said he learned from a salesman that Baird was looking to retire.

When he first came to Waynesboro he ground his own prescriptions. Today, he orders them through the Internet and grinds the unfinished lenses. The lens-grinding machines he used over the years became more sophisticated as computer technology entered the field.


In 1999, Hoos and Theodore H. Cryer, MD, a local ophthalmologist, moved their offices next door to one another - Hoos at 1641 E. Main St. and Cryer at 1647 E. Main St.

Hoos moved from the square and Cryer from Roadside Avenue.

"We worked closely together," Hoos said.

Karen Stewart has been working as an optician in Hoos' office for more than 20 years. She plans to work for Cryer, she said.

"That's going to be good for continuity's sake," Hoos said.

Two customers were getting fitted for new glasses in Hoos' office Wednesday afternoon - Tom Fox of Greencastle, Pa., and Gladys Beltz of Waynesboro.

Beltz remembers coming to Hoos' office on the square.

"I brought both my boys there," she said. "One is 37 years old. I brought him there when he was 6. That's more than 30 years."

Fox, 82 has been coming to Hoos for more than 25 years. "He's always been accommodating," Fox said. "Every time I come in here, he and the people who work here are very nice and always polite."

Hoos said he enjoyed the artistic element of his work.

Hoos said he is looking forward to retirement and hopes to spend a lot of time in his woodworking shop.

Also, he said, he and his wife, Kathi, breed and show Siamese and Havana Brown cats - a hobby that keeps them both busy.

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