Express Yourself: Winters resident honors father’s legacy

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Reverend Dr. Clyde Oden, Bob Bell, Dr. Vicki Hughes, Zoe Defour, Calvin Smith, Marlene Poston-Bell, Maurice Bell, Sharaine Bell, Gene Smith, Viviana Smith, Shomari Smith and Naiem Smith gathered to honor Dr. Marvin R. Poston, OD on June 30. (Courtesy photo)

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By Ashley Torres Avila
Special to the Express

Marlene Poston-Bell and her family honored her late father Dr. Marvin R. Poston, OD, on Thursday June 30 at a reception honoring his legacy in Rancho Cordova.

On Thursday, June 30, VSP Vision hosted an in-person reception at its headquarters.

Poston-Bell spoke at the reception on her father’s legacy noting, “Dr. Poston’s goal and passion for humanity was the preservation of sight. No issue too small and no one’s financial means too little. He was determined to provide the full scope of vision care to his patients. The challenges he faced along the way were unmatched by his strategic ability to circumvent, surpass, and succeed. And the joy he had in that success was also unmatched.”

Poston was a co-founder of California Vision Services, now VSP Vision. Prior to that, he was the first Black student to graduate from University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry, and the first Black American licensed to practice optometry on the West Coast. After co-founding the business in 1955, he became its president in 1963 and remained active in the company until his retirement to Napa where he became the first Black vineyard owner in the region. To this day, he is nationally recognized and respected for his roles as an optometrist, legislative and optometric professional, a pioneering Black American, role model and mentor for minority youth, community leader and statesman.

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