Services Held for Del Lothes


WORTHINGTON, Ohio—Services were held here on Oct. 6 for optical pioneer Delbert Lothes, who passed away on Sept. 27, 2018 at age 84. Lothes was born on Dec. 13, 1933 in Newark, Ohio. He attended high school in Zanesville, Ohio, and then earned a business degree from Muskingum University. After college he worked for Carskadden Optical in Zanesville for five years. In 1962, he founded his own optical business, Del Opticians, with locations in Zanesville and Newark.

Ten years later Lothes became president of Select Optical and the Buckeye Optical retail chain in Columbus. The stores were sold to Pearle Vision in 1998. In 2004 Select Optical became an Essilor partner lab.

Among the other highlights in Lothes’ optical career was building a plant in Red Wing, Minn. to manufacture 63mm glass lenses, developing and selling glass and plastic lens technology to a kibbutz in Israel and developing and selling casting technology to Asahi Glass in Japan. He was inducted into The Vision Council’s Optical Laboratories Hall of Fame in 2006.

Lothes is preceded in death by Sharon, his wife of 62 years. He is survived by his brothers Willam and Richard Lothes, and by his sons Chip, Eric and Peter, all three of whom have careers in the optical industry.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Capital City Hospice, 2800 Corporate Exchange Dr., #170, Columbus, Ohio 43231. Messages of support can be sent to his family at