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Thread: Robert Kathe

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Apprentice Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Optical Laboratory Technician

    Unhappy Robert Kathe

    Veteran Lab Executive Robert Kathe Dies—Robert D. Kathe, a veteran optical laboratory owner and executive, died in Mesa, Ariz. on Oct. 14 due to complications from scleroderma. He was 66 years-old.

    Robert Kathe

    Kathe began his optical career in 1959 with Duffens Optical in Salina, Kan., following a career in the rodeo. He held a succession of jobs at Duffens, ending up as production manager before leaving in 1964. He then moved to Arizona, where he worked as lab manager of Apache Optical, a force in the optical industry in the 1960s. In 1969 he became the branch manager for Bausch & Lomb and then moved to Optico Industries as corporate vice-president, a position he held until 1979. After developing a third-party vision care plan called ECPA, Kathe bought Aspen Optical, a small laboratory in Phoenix, in 1986. The lab was acquired by Essilor several years ago.

    Kathe was inducted into the Optical Laboratories Association Hall of Fame in 2005. He was honored with the optical industry’s “Good Fellow” award in 2004.

    He was preceded in death by his son Michael Kathe, and is survived by his wife Diane, two sons, Dave and Ron, daughter-in-laws Vickie and Kelly and grandchildren Brandy, Zach, Matthew, and Connor.

    In lieu of flowers, the Kathe family asks that donations be made to one of Kathe’s favorite charities, Wildhorse Ranch Rescue, P.O. Box 415, Gilbert, Ariz., 85299, (866) 926-8007,
    JimMiller ABOC

  2. #2
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Back in AZ
    Other Eyecare-Related Field
    How sad. I worked with Bob many years ago at Apache Optical. He was a good guy. :(

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