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Our History

Because of Our History, We Have a Bright Future

Here at Lifetime Vision Center, we have had many name changes, changed offices, changed owners, and have had many excellent doctors throughout the years. We hold onto our long history, learn from it, grow from it, and continue to create a brighter future for everyone that walks into our office.

Optometry in Auburn

Until 1941, Auburn had only what are called “practical opticians”. These were men who most likely did refractions (the part of your exam where they ask you “1 or 2”), sold glasses and jewelry, and many of them were respected businessmen in the area. The earliest practical optician that we have a record of in Auburn is Samuel H. Avey in 1882.

Optometry Timeline for Auburn 1882 – 2020

1882 – Practical Optician Samuel H. Avey

1913 – Practical Optician Franz M. Merrick joined Mr. Avey

1921  – Practical Optician J. K. Curzon joined Mr. Avey and Mr. Merrick for a short time

1941 – Dr. Earl Francis Riggs was our first licensed Optometrist

1957 – Dr. Patrick H. Crotty purchased the practice from Dr. Riggs, and renamed the practice “Dr. Crotty, O.D.”

1976 – Dr. John W. Crotty joined his father, Dr. Pat Crotty,  in practice, renaming it “Drs. Crotty and Crotty”

1995 – Dr. Pat Crotty Retired

1995 –  Dr. Darren J. Wright joined Dr. John Crotty in practice and it was renamed “Drs. Crotty and Wright”

1999 – Dr. John and Dr. Wright moved the practice to the building it is in today and renamed it “Lifetime Vision Center”

2013 – Dr. Russell J. Crotty joined his father, Dr. John Crotty, and Dr. Wright in practice

2015 – Dr. John Crotty retired

2018- Dr. Tessa R. Wellsandt joined Dr. Wright and Dr. Crotty in practice, and Dr. Wright purchased “Midplains Eye Care” in Nebraska City, renaming it “Lifetime Vision Center”

2020- Dr. Tessa R. Wellsandt left Lifetime Vision Center. Dr. Kyle B. Peter then joined Dr. Wright and Dr. Crotty in practice.

Our Past Doctors

Patrick H. Crotty, OD

Practicing optometrist from 1955 – 1995

Born July 11, 1929

Dr. Pat graduated with his Doctorate in Optometry in 1955 and started practicing in Plainview, Nebraska. In 1957, Dr. Pat moved to Auburn and purchased the practice from Dr. Riggs with the new name “Dr. Crotty, O.D.”

Dr. Pat and his wife, Jeannine, have raised five children, Kathy, John, Doug, Kent, and Paul. They have a lot of grand children and many great grandchildren.

Dr. Pat created the family value foundation that each doctor after him has been able to build on to guarantee that all of southeast Nebraska can have healthy vision. Through innovations and new technologies, the doctors after him have been able to expand on his foundation and increase the care that Lifetime Vision Center is able to provide to all of our patients.

John W. Crotty, OD

Practicing optometrist from July 1976 – July 2015

Born November 27, 1951

Dr. John graduated from Auburn High School in 1970. He went on to the University of Nebraska Lincoln for 2 years of undergraduate study. He then continued his studies at Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology in 1974 and his Doctorate in Optometry in 1976. Upon graduation, he returned to Auburn and joined in practice with his father, Dr. Patrick H. Crotty, OD.

Dr. John and his wife, Debi, have been married since 1974. Together they have raised 4 children: Ryan, Robin, Rick, and Rusty. Ryan and wife Janny have 2 children: a daughter, Liston, and son, Nash. Robin is married to Carl, and they have 2 sons, Luke and Johan and one daughter, Eden. Rick is married to Lindsey and they have two sons, Roland and Liam. Dr. Rusty is married to Bobbie and they have two daughters, Ari and Cora.

Dr. John continued to build on the foundation of a value-based Optometric practice provided by his Father, Dr. Patrick H. Crotty, so that our community is able to maintain “Lifetime Vision” for generations to come.