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W. David Sullins, Jr. OD, FAAO, DOS (1942-2005)

AOA President, 1989

Dr. William David Sullins, Jr. (Rear Admiral USN, Ret.), age 62, loving husband, father, grandfather, devoted optometrist and serviceman died peacefully on February 6, 2005, at Baptist West Hospital in Knoxville. A lifelong resident of Athens, he graduated from McMinn County High School in 1960. He attended Tennessee Wesleyan College and the Southern College of Optometry. Practicing optometry in Athens for almost forty years, he cared for thousands of patients and held privileges at three area hospitals.


  • National President for the American Optometric Association
  • Inducted into National Optometry Hall of Fame
  • Carel Kock Medal for inter-disciplinary activity
  • First Optometrist to ever attain the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy
  • Founding Member of Armed Forces Optometric Society
  • The "Admiral David Sullins Award" created in his honor, by the U.S. Navy, to annually honor the most outstanding junior officer in the Medical Service Corps.

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