Dr. William Ken McCarty

Dr. William Ken McCarty
Dr. William Ken McCarty

Jesus took to heaven Dr. William Ken McCarty, age 75, of Amarillo, TX, died on April 16, 2020, after living with Parkinson’s for several years. He died peacefully and surrounded by his family. This gentle, loving, caring and wonderful man has left a permanent mark of grace etched on our hearts and will be missed by his family, friends, and the optometry patients he served for 48 years.

Ken was born on August 10, 1944 in Amarillo to Lalah (Whitaker) and W.A. McCarty. As a boy, he spent a good amount of time on his family’s ranches in Colorado where he developed a lifelong love of the mountains, horses and the great outdoors. His father passed down his love of fly fishing with fishing trips to Vermejo, which became Ken’s life-long passion.

Ken met the love of his life, Sue Sheriff, at Tascosa High School. Before graduating from the University of Houston College of Optometry, they married and were almost inseparable for over 53 years. After college, the young couple settled in Amarillo where they raised their family, supported their community and church, built a successful optometry practice and lived a full, beautiful life.

Family was everything to Ken and he lived his life always putting their needs above his own. Summers were filled with fly fishing and tent camping. He shared his love of the outdoors with his children and grandchildren, all of whom will cherish the memory of him teaching them the joy of reeling in a big trout! In the winters, he loved snow skiing, often taking family vacations to hit the slopes in the Rocky Mountains. Ken was very involved in the lives of his children and loved being Poppy to his six grandchildren. He never missed a game or recital or activity, and was always eager to help run carpool.

Ken was genuine, honest and full of integrity. A life-long learner, Ken was a good listener who lovingly offered advice, shared his knowledge and mentored many, many people during his lifetime. We couldn’t ask for a better role model.

Dr. McCarty practiced optometry for almost 50 years and loved his job as an optometrist at Advanced Eye Care (formerly Paramount Vision Clinic). That love for his profession inspired both of his children, Dr. Melanie Thompson and Dr. Alan McCarty, to work in the eye care field. They had the privilege of working with him both directly and through mutual patients. His patients, now being cared for by his children and his partners, respected and loved him like a father. He treated his patients and staff as family and will always be their beloved doctor.

Ken was deeply committed to giving back to the community he loved so well. He and Sue were members of Westminster Presbyterian Church where he was an elder.  He demonstrated his faith in the love and care he gave his family and in the integrity shown to his patients and in his optometric practice. He was also an active member of Amarillo West Rotary Club for over 50 years. When his children were young, he often coached their basketball and volleyball teams.

Ken leaves us a legacy of how to live like Christ. He will be forever remembered for his beautiful smile, gentle spirit, and caring heart. Although our hearts are heavy, we will celebrate his life and find comfort that he is in heaven, finally free from sickness and disease.

He will be missed by the family who cherished him: wife Sue McCarty, daughter Melanie (Jerry Don) Thompson, son Alan (Cortney) McCarty, his six grandchildren, Avery, William and James Thompson, Riley, Aaron and Jameson McCarty, and his brother Tom (Jane) McCarty in addition to two nephews, one niece, and many cousins.

The family expresses appreciation to the caregivers of The Reserve and Encompass Hospice, and to the physicians who participated in his care since the diagnosis of Parkinson’s in 2011.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in Ken’s name to the Diabetes Foundation of the High Plains (dfhp.org, or mail: TTUHSC Dr. Lunsford, 1400 S. Coulter, Amarillo, TX 79106) or Southwest Parkinson’s Society (swparkinsons.org).   

Witness to the Resurrection to Give Thanks for Ken’s Life on Earth and in Heaven at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, September 12, 2020, at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, Amarillo.

31 Replies to “Dr. William Ken McCarty”

  1. Sure and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I know he had a long struggle; however, he is now whole. Prayers And Blessings to you and your family.

  2. I remember Ken McCarty from the early 1960s. I knew him through my nephew, Karl Wedel. Ken and Karl would come out to the family farm at Dawn. We would see Ken over the years Karl and Ken attended Amarillo College and the University of Houston. Ken was always nice to this young farm boy. He was a good fellow. We kept up with him through Karl. I had the good fortune of meeting McCarty’s son, Dr. Alan McCarty, and being a patient of his a few years ago. He was a caring person just like his father. I am saddened to learn of Dr. McCarty’s death.

  3. Dr. McCarty was our Optometrist for 25+ years. He always made my husband comfortable as he was in a wheelchair and Dr. McCarty moved the chair back so Clay could fit in the area. He was a kind and patient man. Since Clay passed I only saw him a few times and then Melanie took over. I also had the privilege of having Alan McCarty do cataracts for me. A wonderful tribute to Dr. Ken McCarty for the great family he raised. Also loved to watch the computer pics. They were awesome. RIP Doc.

  4. Paula and I pray for the healing comfort that only comes from Him. We enjoyed your relationship and will miss Ken.

  5. Sue, Barbara and I are so sorry for your loss. Ken and I spent many summers exploring canyons and mesas on the ranch. I’ll miss him.

  6. Dear Sue,
    Kim and I are so sorry to hear about Ken. He was a step above most as far as the good attributes of humanity. We feel it has been a great privilege to have shared so many wonderful moments with you, Ken, and the Ethics Optometrist Study Group.

  7. My deepest sympathies to Dr.McCarty’s family. Dr. McCarty was my optometrist for over fifty years. He not only took care of me but my three siblings and eventually my two daughters. My mother was always so grateful to him because during football season he would meet my brother every Saturday morning to replace contact lenses. He truly was an example of Christ’s love and compassion. May God bless his family and friends with countless loving memories.

  8. Our deepest condolences Susie. Dr. McCarty was always such a kind man who truly loved you and his family.

  9. My condolences to the family of Dr. McCarty Dr. McCarty and I made many trips to Dalhart when I worked for Paramount Vision. Rest in heavenly peace Dr. McCarthy and God bless your family with peace, love, understanding and comfort. Family in your grief, do not grieve as if it is no hope. God bless you all.

  10. Ken McCarty was one of the nicest people I have ever known and it was my privilege to have worked for him for about five years in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s. He was always gentle and friendly as an employer as well as a caring and expert Optometrist to his many patients. My husband, Bob, and I are really saddened by his passing but proud, indeed, to have known him both professionally and personally. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his darling wife, Sue and both of their children, Alan and Melanie, who are continuing in his well established footsteps. May he rest in eternal peace.

  11. Sue and family,

    I am so sad to hear this news. I remember meeting Dr. McCarty when I was five years old when my mom started working at Paramount Vision Clinic. My mother always thought the world of him. He was my inspiration for career day in elementary school. I remember getting to borrow a lab coat and feeling very cool. I interviewed Dr. McCarty for my report. I remember sitting in his office, underneath a wall of pictures of his family, asking him questions about what it was like to be an optometrist. I enjoyed getting to work with him when I was older. He was always kind. I am sorry for the loss all of his family, friends, staff, and patients must be feeling especially during a time like this where grieving together is not possible.

    He was a good example to so many. Wishing you all peace and comfort during this time.

    Courtney (Burch) Lyons

  12. I loved caring for Ken as one of my patients he had a forever kind heart no matter what was going on with himself, he almost always had a smile to greet me at each visit. His family was a precious and loving as Ken was very clear that they were raised with the same loving spirit he had. Sue was a ever vigilant wife who made it her soul mission to comfort Ken in anyway possible it was a great gift to have been at his bedside with his family when Ken went to be with his Heavenly Father.

  13. Dr McCarty was my optometrist for around 20 years. He was such a kind, caring compassionate and loving man. I am so grateful I got to have him as my doctor and I feel like he was a friend. He always took time to visit about family and how I was doing. He will be missed and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I always loved seeing his family pictures in his exam room on his computer. He was an Amazing Godly Man who will forever be in my thoughts!!

  14. I remember Ken with warm thankfulness. Sue and he hosted me years ago, and Ken enabled me to see all the way back to Switzerland. Be comforted by Jesus’ promise to return and then reign on earth with power.

  15. So sorry for your loss of Ken. He was my doctor for many years & always helped me so much. He was in Rotary with my husband, Jerry Nelson. When Jerry passed away, Ken was a faithful friend to me when I replaced Jerry in the Rotary Club.
    Joyce L. Nelson

  16. Dr. McCarty was special as my optometrist and friend for over 20 years. I am sad for his family but rejoice for him to be released from his struggles for a better home.

  17. Our sincerest condolences to Sue and the family. Ken was my inspiration for becoming an optometrist, and he was a major factor in my acceptance into the University of Houston College of Optometry.
    Tom and Linda Sheriff

  18. Dear Sue,
    So sorry to hear about your loss of Ken.
    Praying for your peace in knowing he is in the arms of Jesus.
    Pam Warr McAllister

  19. I enjoyed working with him in the Dalhart office. He always had a huge smile, and was so kind, it was always a pleasure to work with him. He truly was a gentle soul. He will surely be missed!!

  20. Thank you so much for sending this out. I loved reading about his life.

    Love to all of you for helpIng his family.

    (I will be out of town in AZ for the next 3 weeks.)

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