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2020 Recipient of Montrew Dunham Award
Floyd Mizener

Throughout the history of Downers Grove, regular citizens from every generation have stepped forth to exhibit extensive leadership, share their talents, and volunteer their time to help preserve and improve our community.  Dr. Floyd D. Mizener is such an individual, and it is with great pleasure that the Downers Grove Historical Society names Dr. Floyd Mizener as its 2020 recipient of the Montrew Dunham Award.
Graduating from Downers Grove High School in 1944, he immediately joined the Marines serving in World War II.  In 1949 he earned his Dr. of Optometry degree from the College of Optometry in Chicago and went on to distinguish himself in a lifetime dedicated to sight improvement for all ages.   Mizener established his original practice in Downers Grove, renaming it to Naper Grove Vision Care when the Naperville office was added.  While building an impressive list of professional and civic achievements, Mizener and his wife Shirley (d.2016) raised their 3 children in Downers Grove.

His extensive list of professional achievements includes Optometry’s Distinguished Practitioners Award, and Lifetime Achievement awards from both the Illinois College of Optometry and the local Chamber630.  Plus Dr. Mizener served as President of the West Suburban Optometric Society, the Illinois Optometric Association, and the Illinois Inter-Professional Council of Health Professionals.  He has also been awarded two honorary degrees – a Doctor of Philosophy from the Morrison Institute of Technology, and a Doctor of Ocular Science from the Illinois College of Optometry.

Mizener was appointed State Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee to the Illinois Motor Vehicle Division, which brought about changes in the way vision screening is done in Illinois, becoming the first state to include peripheral vision in its testing.   

Known as “A Legend Among Lions”, Dr. Mizener has dedicated (to date) 67 years to the Downers Grove Lions Club organization.  Lions Club International supports causes which help the sight and hearing-impaired, a perfect match for Dr. Mizener’s skills.   Through his association with Lions, Mizener helped build an alliance with local teachers, hosting a luncheon for new District 58 teachers every year, and getting educators’ input on ways improved vision testing could impact student outcomes and developing teacher cooperation with Lions District 1-J Vision Screening programs.  Mizener also worked with other Lions to begin collections of discarded eyeglasses for refurbishment and re-use by low-income citizens. 

Mizener headed the Good Samaritan Hospital Development Program raising two million dollars towards building Good Samaritan Hospital, chaired the committee that would oversee the building of the Downers Grove YMCA, and served on the DG Township Senior Citizen Advisory Committee.
He has received the Good Samaritan of the Year Award from “Good Sam” Hospital, the D.G. Citizen of the Year Award by the Chamber, and the Senior Citizens Recognition Award from the Township of D.G.  In 2005, he received the Award of Excellence from Downers Grove North High School.
The Society would like to thank Dr. Mizener for his lifetime of dedication to his profession helping our own citizens and others see better, and for his many hours of volunteer work building a stronger Downers Grove.  He will be recognized on July 25th at 10:00am at the Montrew Dunham History Center (831 Maple, on the DG Museum campus).  The event is free, however registration will be required due to the current limits on gathering size.  To register, go to https://montrew-dunham-award-2020.eventbrite.com.

The DG Historical Society would like to thank member Joyce Tumea for conducting interviews with Dr. Mizener for this overview of his many contributions to our community, and to the field of Optometry. 


We are dedicated to the history and heritage of Downers Grove, Illinois

The Downers Grove Historical Society is an independent, non-profit volunteer organization which was incorporated in 1968. We are dedicated to keeping history alive for future generations by preserving and promoting the heritage of Downers Grove. We seek to foster an understanding, awareness, and appreciation of our town's history and architecture through education, community programs, publications, and acknowledgement of historic sites. We rely solely on public support to continue these efforts.

We are dedicated to the history and heritage of Downers Grove, Illinois

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