Dr. Ray Goga returns to Wittenberg

Daughter Erin moving to Wausau clinic
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Contributed Photo Beginning Tuesday, Dr. Ray Goga will switch offices with his daughter, Dr. Erin Goga. The optometrists work out of offices in Wittenberg, Wausau and Marathon City.

The father-daughter optometrist team members Ray and Erin Goga are switching offices.

For the past nine years, Dr. Erin Goga has been at the Family Vision Center’s Wittenberg clinic two days a week and at the Marathon City clinic two days a week. Dr. Ray Goga has been working out of his Envision Eyecare clinic in Wausau, which he owns with Dr. Chris Marquardt and Dr. Jeff Sarazen.

With two of her three children in school full time, Erin Goga next week will begin working out of the Wausau clinic. She will be working five days a week instead of four, but it will be easier for her to manage the needs of her family by being in the same city, she said.

Ray Goga will adjust his schedule so that he is in Wittenberg every other Monday as well as the regular Tuesday and Thursday schedule. This will help reduce the waiting time for patients to get an appointment, he said.

Ray Goga was one of the first recipients of the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship and, after optometry school, served at Irwin Army Hospital in Fort Riley, Texas. When he left the Army in 1977, he came to Wausau because it was recommended by a relative living here.

Touring the area, he was warmly welcomed in the Wittenberg community by Dr. Deo and Bonnie Almazar and Alan Voelz of the Wittenberg bank, Goga said, and decided to open a second practice in Wittenberg.

“My first office was in a building Gordy Cowles happened to be building at that time,” Goga said. “He and his wife, Betty, were also nice to my wife, Julie, and me. I knew we had made a good decision.”

Goga started playing baseball with the Wittenberg city team and quickly made good friends. He hired a teammate’s wife, Betty Zeinert, to work at the clinic. Sue Bushman, Cindy Blumreich and Amanda Rew joined later; Zeinert and Bushman have since retired.

“One of my Wausau employees, Connie Hamann, strongly recommended opening an office in her hometown of Marathon City,” Goga said. “That was over 20 years ago, and I was soon busy covering three locations.”

Goga had told all his patients that his daughter, Erin, was going to be an optometrist. Many people were excited to have her work at the clinic because they’d been hearing about her from Ray for years.

“I like that everybody knows everybody and all shop at the same places,” Erin Goga said. “It’s so easy to greet everyone. I’ll miss the small-town feel.”

She hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning to Wittenberg but noted that this is the right move for her and her family now, and she’s very thankful for the time she’s spent here.

Ray Goga will be back in Wittenberg beginning Tuesday. He said he has no intention of slowing down and is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as taking care of new patients.

WHAT: Family Vision Center

WHERE: 601 S. Webb St., Wittenberg

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

FYI: For information and appointments, call 715-253-2157.