Winston Eye & Vision Center
Celebrating Three Generations of Excellence
Dr. Jerry Winston retires after more than 55 years in practice as the rest of the Winston Eye and Vision Center team look ahead to the next chapter
It’s not often that a customer walks into a doctor’s office and tears up because it feels like home, but that’s just the kind of place the Winstons have cultivated, says Dr. Blake Rust, one of the optometrists at Winston Eye and Vision Center on Kingston Pike. The practice began serving the Knoxville community back in 1942, and while the founder, Dr. Harold Winston, has passed, there are still three Winstons carrying on his work in 2023: brothers Jerry and Barry Winston, and Barry’s son Sam (alongside Dr. Blake, an honorary Winston). That is soon to change, however, as Dr. Jerry, the longest-practicing of the three—55 years—will be retiring at the end of August.
Dr. Jerry officially began practicing at Winston Eye and Vision Center in 1967, but the truth is that he’d been working at the office since he was barely a teenager, running materials to the lab for his father. It was only natural that he would eventually become a full partner once he finished his education. “That was a wonderful experience,” he says of taking on his first patients. “I was actually helping people.”
Listening to Lou Holtz speak years ago there was one statement that resonated with Dr. Barry; “doing the right thing, doing the best we can, and showing people we care.” That is the heart of the business, says Dr. Barry, and everyone agrees that this is Dr. Jerry’s true talent.
“He gets to know each and every one of his patients,” Dr. Sam says, later describing Dr. Jerry’s exam room to make his point. The walls are decorated with decades’ worth of the doctor’s memories, coupled with pictures of the doctor with the race cars he works on in his garage in his spare time. And while Dr. Jerry doesn’t usually take those cars out for a spin anymore, he is excited to take a road trip around America with his wife, Lisa, once he isn’t working the six-day weeks he’s worked for the last 50 years.
“Even though Dr. Jerry is retiring, the practice will still be here,” reminds Dr. Barry. His brother is just handing off the torch to the next generation, each of whom have brought with them new ideas and was able to improve the experience for their guests. In his day, Dr. Harold never worked with contact lenses, Dr. Sam recalls, but now the Winstons offer complex modern procedures his grandfather could have only dreamed of when he first opened the center’s doors.
“I feel very confident that the guys are going to continue on and they’re going to improve what we have started,” says Dr. Jerry.
Dr. Jerry’s official last day is August 31, and all of that week the Winston Eye and Vision Center will be inviting patients and friends to come by, enjoy some light refreshments, and bid the doctor farewell —at least, until he inevitably drops by the office, just as his father used to do. After all, in a family business like this, some things never change.
8609 Kingston Pike, Suite 101 | Knoxville, TN 37923 | (865) 693-3441