Ralph L. Woythaler.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.—Ralph L. Woythaler, a veteran wholesale laboratory owner and executive, passed away peacefully here on March 14, 2024. He was 81 years old. Woythaler was born April 12, 1942, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Bernard and Theresa Woythaler. He was the oldest of seven children including Michael, Lawrence, Bernard, Laura, Theresa and John. In 1966 he married Barbara Cahill, to whom he remained married for over five decades. They had four sons, John (Meri), Robert (Jerico), Christopher (Glaucia) and Craig (David), and five grandchildren, Kate, Grace, Jude, Sophia and Vivian.

In 1967, Woythaler, together with partner Julius Tart, founded the New York-based wholesale laboratory Eye-Glasses Inc. Woythaler became sole owner of the lab, now known as 21st Century Optics, in 1985. Together with his management team, he grew 21st Century Optics into one of the largest independent optical labs in the U.S. The lab, which ranked 10th among VM’s Top Labs in 2004, was acquired by Essilor in 2005.

Woythaler was inducted into The Vision Council's Optical Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2009.

A funeral mass will be held today at The Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens at 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Tunnel to Towers Foundation.