Retirement Letter

It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement after 40 years of practicing optometry in Reedsburg.

For the past several years I have been considering retiring, and have been hoping to find the right doctor to buy my practice. I recently signed a contract to purchase with Dr. Dave May, an Optometrist from Waunakee, Wisconsin. Dr. May started his own practice in Waunakee in 2006 and recently hired a new associate, Dr. Sara Winkler. Together they will see patients in Reedsburg. Dr. May’s practice in Waunakee is truly state-of-the-art and his clinical skills are second to none. He was voted Young Optometrist of the Year by the Wisconsin Optometric Association in 2004, and Optometrist of the Year in 2012. He also served for many years on the board of the Wisconsin Optometric Association. You can become better acquainted with him and Dr. Winkler on their website at I have no doubt you will be impressed.

You will see some very exciting new changes in this office. It is important to me that this practice moves into the lead, in keeping with where optometry is today, and where it is headed in the future. Dr. May and Dr. Winkler plan to add new instrumentation and technology to this practice. I am comfortable knowing these two fine optometrists will take a personal interest in your care.

Some of you are also aware that I have had some recent vision changes myself, prompting me to employ some part-time optometrists to assist me in seeing patients. To be honest, this has been a bit of a factor in the timing of my retirement. While I am hoping that these issues are temporary, I have realized that time is moving forward, my grandchildren are growing quickly, and I must take advantage of every aspect in my life now, while I can.

Leaving here is certainly bittersweet. I started this practice from scratch in August 1979, and with the blessings of Reedsburg residents, it has been very successful. The loyalty my patients have shown has been deeply humbling. While I look forward to moving to Cumberland, Wisconsin, where I built a retirement home near my childhood home, my family, and my grandchildren. I will miss so much about Reedsburg. You have truly become family to me. I have looked forward to not only examining your eyes, but I have also cherished conversations with you and getting to know your families. You will never know how much you have blessed me. And I will miss that. Thank you for your loyalty and friendship!

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you will still be in the capable care of Bethany, Cindy, and Kim who have blessed me for many years. Bethany has worked here for 19 years, Cindy for 10, and Kim, who is newer but very capable.

They will make leaving here very difficult and I owe them more than I probably realize. They are all unique and genuine people who love what they do and are as honest and sincere as anyone I’ve ever met. I will miss them deeply, but they will continue to care for you.

Due to the current limitations in my abilities, and the offer to purchase, the practice will change hands on September 3rd. While I apologize for any concerns or inconveniences you might have, I am also secure and confident that you will receive even better care from the new doctors. I ask that you trust them and offer them the same loyalty and kindness you have given me.

Thank you for your steadfast support and understanding.

Dr. Joe Prell, Optometrist