On June 12, 2019 our beloved Dr. Craig Hisaka peacefully passed away.
Dr. Hisaka was a Stockton native, graduated as one of the top students from Edison High. He was a 3-sport athlete playing quarterback on the varsity football team, basketball and was named All-Conference in baseball. Dr Hisaka then went on to study at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry in the 1970’s, he went on to earn a Master’s in Public Health from Cal. He then returned to Stockton to practice Optometry.
Within a few short years he brought in a partner, Dr. Judy Prima and soon after that Drs. Robert and Rosemary Melrose and we became the San Joaquin Optometric Group. In 1998 he had a vision to merge the 3 largest optometry practices in Stockton. Dr. Demshar, Dr. Vanover, Dr. Skinner and Dr. Hsu joined the practice and we became The Brookside Optometric Group. Since then Dr. Fujii, Dr. Laurel, Dr. Loo, Dr. Chow, Dr. Scheer, and Dr. Girn have all joined our group.
Dr Hisaka had a visionary desire to expand the scope of care within our practice thus allowing us to provide state of the art care for our patients here in Stockton. He knew that by combining our skills and talents we would be able to maintain our time with our patients. He knew that it would take a large multi-doctor practice to be able to afford the specialized diagnostic equipment that would become necessary to give the quality of care he desired for all of us to offer. Finally, he also wanted the practice to continue to grow to allow opportunities for new graduates from any of the Optometry Schools to find a home here to see patients.
Dr Hisaka was happiest when he was helping his patients. He got to know them as friends, not as just patients. In an era where doctors rarely spend more than 5 minutes with you, he would spend 45 minutes with each patient making sure that no stone was unturned in the exam and that every aspect of his care for his patients was understood by them.
Dr Hisaka was also an educator and taught at UC Berkeley for over 35 years and was awarded the title of full Clinical Professorship. He was only the 6th part time faculty member to receive this title in the Optometry School’s history.
To us he was more than a doctor and an educator—he was also a partner, a friend, and a mentor. Words cannot describe how much we miss seeing him walk down the hall or sharing a difficult case with us. We do know that his wisdom, knowledge and guidance is felt by all of us each day as we continue to see our patients in the office that he envisioned.
Dear friend we miss you. Our world has grown smaller now without you in it. You will never be replaced nor forgotten.
Rest in peace Craig.