Dr. James A. RAKES


RAKES, Dr. James A. , O.D., F.A.A.O. of New Port Richey, passed away Wednesday May 28, 2014 at the age of 67 years after a heroic 10-month fight with a rare cancer. He was born March 27, 1947 in Scottsbluff, NE, son of Kitty Mellion and Alex James Rakes. Jim was an Indiana University graduate where he completed Optometry school and continued his residency at the University of Kentucky. He recently retired from the VA hospital as the chief optometrist of the VA eye clinic in New Port Richey. He was a Primary Low Vision care provider and optometric physician. Jim touched many patient lives in his almost 40 years of working for the VA hospital as he was extremely dedicated to his work, his research, his teachings, and helping others. As the director of residency and extern programs, he guided over 100 optometry students to excel in their field. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and was on the Indiana University adjunct faculty. In 1977, he married the love of his life, and best friend, Susie Rakes (Congress) and together they had 2 children, Marni (Karel) Sumbal and Aaron (Dana) Rakes, who have always lived a very active lifestyle, just like their father. Jim loved life and his family. He always had a positive spirit, a great sense of humor and the ability to tell the best stories. As a high school track and wresting athlete, he continued to stay fit through daily running and held a strong passion for astronomy, stamp collecting, corvettes, classic movies, anything electronic, and the weather. He will be greatly missed by so many for he was incredibly kind, loving, patient, and supportive. Jim is survived by his wife, his mother and his two children. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Borish Center for Opthalmic Research: http://www.optometry.iu.edu/faculty-research/borish/donate.shtml And the Cancer Survivors Park in Greenville, South Carolina: http://www.cancersurvivorspark.org/contact-us.php Condolences may be expressed online at: segalfuneralhome.com
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on June 8, 2014