Carkner Family Makes an Enduring Impression on the College of Optometry

One of the most prominent names connected with Pacific’s College of Optometry is Carkner, and the connection began before the beginning.

1945 to 2020 | 75 Years of Focusing on Pupils

Clarence “Clary” Carkner attended the North Pacific College of Optometry and entered private practice, when he, Newton Wesley Hon. ‘86, and Roy Clunes, all recent attendees, were offered the chance to buy the North Pacific charter. Wesley, a Japanese-American, had been forced to move inland, and Carkner became the public face of the effort to bring the charter to Pacific University.

“Dr. Clarence Carkner is giving a great deal of time, and a lot of hard work in helping to raise the necessary funds, and is securing publicity that will be most helpful to our profession,” declared Frank Bemis, the president of the Oregon Optometric Association, in the association’s newsletter. “Let us all do our part to make this worthwhile enterprise a complete success.”

When the College of Optometry opened on Pacific’s Forest Grove Campus, Carkner was an instructor — and the first of multiple Carkners to attend or teach at the school.

Carkner plaque

Clarence Carkner’s sons, Donald ’64, OD ‘65 and David ’68, OD ‘70, each received optometry degrees from Pacific. For years, they practiced together in a Northeast Portland clinic, a stone’s throw from the old North Pacific College.

The business eventually passed to Donald’s son, Jeffry OD ‘92. Earlier in 2020, Jeffry Carkner sold the practice to a non-family member, but fellow alumna, Keely Hoban OD ‘11. Jeffry Carkner has moved to Tennessee with his wife, but his uncle David continues to practice part-time in the family clinic, where his uncle Steve is an optician. Steve Carkner’s wife Lisa works at the clinic’s front desk.

This story is part of a collection celebrating 75 years of Optometry as part of the Fall 2020 issue of Pacific magazine. For more stories, visit

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020