IRVINGTON—Dr. James Rex Prince departed this life on Friday, April 27, 2018, at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, Irvington.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sylvia; five children, John Prince (Ida), Susan Havens (Keith), Marjorie Holt (Jon), Mary Lewis (Richard) and Thomas Prince; nine grandchildren, Patricia Sapp (Marcus), James Prince, Zack Havens (Kaitlyn), Zane Havens, Rachel Holt, Grady Holt, Clare Sworthzel (Mark), Stewart Lewis (Christina) and Noah Prince; and three great grandchildren, Maxwell, Audra and Malachi.
Dr. Prince was born in Canton, Ohio, on December 8, 1929, and was the only child of John and Glenna Prince. He attended and graduated the “Huntington School for Boys” in Boston Mass., then graduated from Tufts University in 1952 where he was a member of the Delta Sigma Kappa fraternity.
After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant junior grade and was sent to serve in the Korean war on the USS Worcester.
In 1954, he began studies at the Massachusetts College of Optometry in Boston. While there, he met the love of his life, Miss Sylvia Mary Churchill, who was studying to become a nurse at Mass General Hospital and they were married September 15, 1956.
Dr. Prince graduated Cum Laude in June of 1957 with a bachelor’s in optometry and moved to Richmond. He joined the practice of Dr. Reithmiller. In 1960, he bought Dr. Reithmiller’s Northern Neck practice and moved to Kilmarnock.
Dr. Prince loved the Northern Neck and served the people in this area for 57 years. He was devoted to the eye care of his Northern Neck patients, which included general optometry as well as late night emergency calls from watermen to remove bits of shell embedded in their eyes.
Dr. Prince was also instrumental in improving optometry in Virginia and the entire nation. He helped promote continuing education courses which enabled eye doctors to remain current in a rapidly changing field. He was president of the Southern Counsel of Optometry in 1975, and was president of Virginia Optometry Association in 1970. In addition, he was a member of the American Optometry Association Political Action Committee which worked with legislatures to help create laws that improved optometric care and he advocated for optometry doctors to become licensed to administer prescription medications to their patients.
Dr. Prince and Sylvia loved to travel and visit different places, but they had a special love for the island and people of Kauai, Hawaii, and spent many happy days in the islands.
Family received friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at Currie Funeral Home in Kilmarnock. A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, at Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Northern Neck Free Health Clinic, P.O. Box 1694, 51 William B. Graham Ct., Kilmarnock, VA 22482; or the Lancaster County Lions Club, P.O. Box 368, Kilmarnock, VA 22482.