DR. BILL HARRISON
October 5, 1942 - May 4, 2019
“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”
Doctor William Dean Harrison of Laguna Niguel, loving husband, father, grandfather, community optometrist and sports vision pioneer, lost his 4-year battle with squamous cell cancer on May 4, 2019. He was preceded in death by his father Stanley, his mother Hettie and brother Gary. He is survived by his wife Linda, his children: Alicia, Ryan and Craig, and his grandchildren: Nicole, Zachary, Parker, Makayla and Ryder.
“Dr. Bill”was born October 5th, 1942 in Laredo, Texas. When he was 3, his family moved to Alpaugh, California. He was raised in California’s Central Valley, where he held the national junior olympic long throw record at 13 years old, earned 13 varsity letters at Bullard High of Fresno, and spent many summers in the backcountry of Yosemite with his father. As one of the Valley’s top baseball talents in the early 1960s, he played on select teams against international competition and was recruited to play baseball on scholarship at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently still #7 on the all-time ERA record for Cal Baseball. While at Cal, he was a member of the Pi KA fraternity and earned a Doctorate of Optometry. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and created the first optical center at the Sacramento Army Depot in 1965.
After his military service, Doc applied his passion for optimizing visual abilities to the athletic world, beginning with professional golf and baseball. In 1971, while practicing optometry in Davis, Ca., he began working with the Kansas City Royals baseball organization and helped develop their ground-breaking Royal’s Baseball Academy.
In 1974, the family moved to Laguna Niguel. He founded Laguna Eyes Optometry in Laguna Beach in1977. As an Optometrist specializing in vision enhancement over a 53 year career, he found great joy in helping people from all walks of life, especially in the community of Laguna Beach. After great success with the Royals, he continued to enhance the visual skills of Olympians, collegiate and professional athletes from a vast array of sports, including baseball, football, volleyball and water polo and helped develop programs for the US Olympic training centers. Additionally, he provided services to enhance training for the US armed special forces over several decades.
Dr. Bill, as he was also known, enjoyed many honors over the years for his contributions to optometry and the sports world; however, going home to Fresno in 2012 to be inducted into the Bullard High School Baseball Hall of Fame was one of his greatest joys. He was an athlete at heart and an optometrist who loved to help others see their best and to improve the visual performance of both amateur and professional athletes. He enjoyed time with his grandchildren, the beauty of nature, travels with his wife - especially to Kauai’s Hanalei Bay. He was known by all for his big smile, creative thinking, positive outlook, and his kind, compassionate spirit.
DR. WILLIAM D. HARRISON
The Dr. William D. Harrison Memorial Fund has been created by his alma mater to continue the legacy of Dr. Bill Harrison's pioneering and passion for Sports Vision. The fund will be used to promote and support the growth of the Sports Vision Program at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry. This will benefit the education of optometrists and serve the athletic community.
Or may also send a check to the Dr. William D. Harrison Memorial Fund for Sports Vision (Fund Number # FN0236000) and send attention: Ciel Mahoney Berkeley Optometry 397 Minor Hall Berkeley, CA 94720