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November 18, 2018

11/1/2018 7:30:00 AM
Dr. Louis J. Gorz O.D., F.A.A.O

Louis J. Gorz was born Oct. 18, 1926, in Eagle River, and passed away Oct. 25, 2018 at Ascension St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander. He was the youngest of 10 children born to Louis and Katharine (Bartoli) Gorz, immigrants from Austria.

Raised on the family homestead, he attended Lincoln Town School, a one-room school. He graduated at age 16 from Eagle River High School,  where he was active in 4H, band, and class plays.  He was a member of the Silver Strings Tamburitza Orchestra. In 2008 he was inducted into the  Northland Pines Alumni - Hall of Fame, the first year this award was given.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Wisconsin State University in La Crosse, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Doctor of Optometry Degree from Pennsylvania State College of Optometry (PSCO). He was awarded the Silver Medal of Beta Sigma Kappa International  Honor Society (BSK).  While practicing optometry he served BSK as President for 2 years and Chancellor for 4 years, at which time he was presented Life Membership and The Fellow Award.  

Upon graduation Dr. Gorz entered the U.S. Army and served 2 years as an optometrist at the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, U.S. Army  Hospital at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

 After being discharged from the Army, he started his solo private practice in Rhinelander, where he practiced for over 30 years. It was here that  he met and married the love of his life, Anna Bailey. Dr. Gorz was a Life Member of the Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) and held all offices, including President. In 1974 he was selected as Wisconsin Optometrist of the Year. He served on many committees, including four years as Chairman of the WOA Speaker's Service, Interpersonal Relations, Hunter's Vision, Dept. of Organization, Legislative and Nomination  Committees, WI Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, WI Public Health Association. and spoke before the State Legislature and Governor's Health Task Force on behalf of Optometry several times. He was a Life Member of The American Optometric Association (AOA) and served on many committees - Nominating, Vision Requirements, Highway Safety, Environment, Industry and Public Health, as well as speaking at many  conferences and conventions.

Dr. Gorz was a Fellow Emeritus of The American Academy of Optometry (F.A.A.O.), past officer of the Rhinelander Jaycees, Charter and Life Member and past President with 25 years of perfect attendance in the Kiwanis Club, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce, and Heart O' Lakes Investment Club. He was a member of Zion Ev. Lutheran Church and served as President of the congregation.

He served on many political committees and co-chaired a Fly-In for Senator Tiny Krueger at the Oneida Co. Airport.  He arranged the motorcade  and personally drove President Nixon and family, while Pres. Nixon was campaigning in Rhinelander. He received an autographed photo and personal message from him. While in Washington D.C. for meetings, Dr. Gorz and family were invited for a private tour of the White House.

He is survived by wife Anna, daughter Mary E. (Dr. John) Santarius of Madison, sons Mark W. Gorz and Louis J. Gorz III, both of Rhinelander; four grandchildren, Megan (Griffin) Schnitzler, Erik Santarius, Trevor Santarius, and Katharine Santarius; three great-grandchildren, Victor, Violet and Sylvia Rose Schniztler, many nieces and nephews and five Godchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Carl Gorz, Edmund Gorz, Dr. Walter Gorz, Dr. Arthur Gorz, Dr. Herman Gorz and sisters Elsie  Krueger, Katharine Zorner, Mathilda Kercher, and Elenor Gorz.

Upon Dr. Gorz's request private services were held.

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