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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Wife Kathy says that her husband Joe Horton sent personal thank you notes to his patients throughout his practice -- adding "even when I was waiting dinner for him" with a laugh. Health issues have led Horton to retire.

It's the end of an era for eye care in Fayetteville. Joe Horton, who has been seeing patients for 30 years at Family Eye Care just south of Hobby Lobby and the Bank of Fayetteville's College Avenue location, retired at the end of June. We asked him to join us for a "Where Are They Now?" Q&A.

Q. When did you move to Fayetteville?

A. I moved to Fayetteville 39 years ago with my wife and my then 3-year-old son and 2-week-old daughter.

Q. Did anyone inspire you to become an optometrist?

A. My uncle was an optometrist in Harrison, and he inspired me to become one as well.

Q. Did your children follow in your footsteps in this field?

A. No, both of my children are very creative and ended up with careers that allow them to use their artistic talent.

Q. What was your greatest challenge in your career?

A. I think my greatest challenge ended up being my greatest asset. I knew that most clinics spent a lot of time and effort on social media, advertising and marketing. My staff encouraged me to do the same, and I know that many medical clinics reach out to their patients that way. For me, I wanted to have a personal relationship rather than advertising, and as a result many of my patients became longtime friends.

Q. What was your greatest reward in your career?

A. My greatest reward was the opportunity to work with the student athletes, coaches and their families at the University of Arkansas for the last 30 years.

Q. How long have you been in this location?

A. I have been at Family Eye Care in this same location for the past 30 years.

Q. Why are you retiring?

A. I have a melanoma on my nose, and it will require at least three surgeries and six months or longer to recover. I didn't want to leave my patients that long without consistent quality care. Dr. Cliff Hughes has assumed ownership of my practice and will provide the same quality care.

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN Profiles on 07/08/2018

Print Headline: Where Are They Now?

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