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Seeing Silver

Scheidler celebrates 25 years in downtown practice

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Dr. Michael P. Scheidler is seeing silver.

The Crawfordsville optometrist recently celebrated his 25th anniversary providing eye care from his downtown practice at 109 E. Main St. and he has no plans to give it up anytime soon.

“This is a good profession and a good community,” he said. “I’m proud that I’ve been able to serve the community all these years.”

Scheidler attributes his success to the support of his staff, both past and present; fellow optometrist Dr. Gregory Pietz, who has worked as an independent contractor at the office since 2005; his family; and his patients.

“I’m honored and privileged that my patients trust me to provide them with their eyecare services,” he said. “I truly appreciate the friendships and rapport that has been built over the years.”

As a history buff Scheidler loves the downtown location.

“The atmosphere is great,” he said. “There are a lot of things happening downtown, especially with renovations and facade updates. Crawfordsville Main Street is really doing a great job bringing people downtown and its neat to be a part of that revitalization.”

Scheidler purchased the practice in August of 1997 from Dr. Phillip E. Grush — about a year after he started working with Grush.

“Dr. Grush stayed on for a few years after and was wonderful to work for and with,” Scheidler said. “Dr. Grush helped introduce me to people and helped me get involved in the community.”

As a Decatur, Indiana native, Scheidler didn’t know much about Crawfordsville when he first arrived in the fall of 1996, but quickly grew to love the area and its people. He soon met his wife, Mary, who was from Montgomery County and had recently returned from earning her degrees and working in Indianapolis.

Upon buying the practice from Grush, Scheidler renamed the business, Sugar Creek Eyecare. It was a nod to his childhood when his family would travel from northern Indiana to hike and camp at Shades and Turkey Run state parks.

“I didn’t really want to brand the practice with my name, plus I had a lot of great memories attached to Sugar Creek, which runs through Crawfordsville and Montgomery County as well as the parks and it seemed to encompass so much of this area.”

History and heritage are important to Scheidler, and he remains proud that he is carrying on both with his practice. Before Grush owned the practice, it was owned by Dr. Caster E. Wilson, who started seeing patients on the fourth floor of the Ben Hur Building in 1937. Wilson sold the practice to Grush and in 1960 Grush moved it to the East Main Street site. Portraits of both men hang in a prominent place in Scheidler’s waiting room.

“The practice really has been around for a long time and has served generations,” Scheidler said. “I always knew I wanted to work in a small town. You really get to know your patients, and you get to take an active interest in their lives.”

That type of interaction is what originally led Scheidler to become an optometrist.

“I had a really good experience with an eye doctor back when I was a sophomore in high school,” he said. “I knew I liked helping, I liked health care, but didn’t want the pressure of life or death, and vision is still an important part of a person’s life.”

So, like many of his eight siblings, Scheidler found himself pursing a career in health care. The others are educators, like their parents.

After leaving his hometown, Scheidler earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Marian College in Indianapolis and then his Doctorate of Optometry degree from the Indiana University School of Optometry in Bloomington. He passed his boards in 1996 and accepted an offer to join Dr. Gregg Ossip in Broad Ripple. He worked there briefly before finding his way to Crawfordsville.

Scheidler is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Indiana Optometric Association and the Tecumseh Optometric Society, where he is currently serving as board president. He is a member of the Crawfordsville Rotary Club, St. Bernard Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

He and his wife Mary have a son, Patrick, who graduated from Marian College and is currently working on his master’s degree there while working as an elementary school teacher in Beech Grove; and two daughters, Jane and Megan, who are both students at Marian College. Jane is a junior nursing major and Megan is a sophomore education major.

When not seeing patients, Scheidler enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, biking, playing sports and reading about history, particularly the Civil War and World War I and World War II. He’s also working his way through reading the Bible cover to cover.

“I have been truly blessed to live, work and serve in this community,” Scheidler said.

Scheidler plans to continue exploring new technology and instruments in an effort to offer his patients advanced vision care. He has no plans to slow down, instead he intends to keep helping and serving his profession and the community as long as he is able. Maybe someday, he joked, he will sell the practice and his portrait will join Grush and Wilson on the wall.

To learn more about Sugar Creek Eyecare, visit their website at www.sugarcreekeyecare.com or call 765-362-2706.

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