Mr. T.R.G. Sear (1937-2022)

May 31, 2022Announcement, Obituaries

On May 9, 2022, Tim Sear passed away following a long illness. Below are a few memories from some who had served with him. If you would like to share a memory, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
Read the official obituary, published in the Fort Worth Star Telegram and, here.


Tim and Judith Sear
(photo credit Adam Sear)
William C. Conner, Tim Sear: Proclamation of Pan-American Day in Fort Worth 1985 (photo credit PAAO)

Tim Sear was Chairman of the Board of the Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation (PAOF) from 1989-1997.  Over the years he championed several educational programs.  Tim received the A. Edward Maumenee Distinguished Services Medal at the 20th Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in Quito, Ecuador, in 1995 and the Benjamin F. Boyd Humanitarian Medal for Services to the Americas at the 26th Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2006. A native of England, Tim spent two years as an officer in the Royal Air Force and graduated from the University of Manchester in 1960. In 1961, Tim married Judith, his beloved wife of 60 years. He studied International Economics at the University of Copenhagen, from which he earned a Graduate School Diploma. He then earned an MBA in International Business from Indiana University and later attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. Tim began his career in the pharmaceutical industry in international management assignments with Mead Johnson International, moving with his family to the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong, and traveling extensively throughout Africa and the Far East. He joined Alcon in Sydney, Australia in 1971 and the Sear family moved to Texas in 1975. Tim Sear was appointed Chairman, President and CEO of Alcon, in October 1997, retiring as Chairman in May 2005.

In Memory of Tim Sear

It is with immense sadness that I inform the Pan American community of the death of one of PAAO’s greatest friends and collaborator. Tim was and will always be an example for all of us. May he rest in peace and his family be comforted by the fact of having lived with a person of such personal and community stature. He will be remembered forever for all of us.

Paulo E.C. Dantas MD (Brazil), PAAO President 2022-2025

I was very sorry to learn of Tim Sear’s passing.  He was a permanent collaborator and a friend of the Pan-American Association and Foundation. May he Rest in Peace! Fernando Arévalo MD (USA), PAOF President 2021-2024; PAAO President 2017-2019

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” — Thomas Campbell. 

I was very saddened to hear the news of Tim’s passing. I had the great honor of knowing Tim for over 30 years. Throughout these years, we worked together on many important programs. Tim was a groundbreaking business leader and an exceptional individual whom I called a great friend. Tim will be dearly missed in the Ophthalmology community by all those who had the pleasure of working with him. My condolences to Tim’s wife and children during this difficult time.

Miguel N. Burnier Jr. MD (Canada), PAAO President 2019-2022

The Pan American Ophthalmology family honors Tim Sear, a great leader, visionary, generous and an amazing human being!

Liana Ventura MD (Brazil), PAOF President 2015-2018, and Marcelo Ventura MD

Front row: David E.I. Pyott, Dr. Alice McPherson, Tim Sear Back row: Dr. Richard Abbott, Teresa Bradshaw, Dr. Cristian Luco, Dr. Enrique Graue Wiechers, Dr. Rubens Belfort Jr. (photo credit Richard Abbott)

I had the opportunity to work at the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) close to Tim Sear CEO at Alcon. At that time was easy to understand the power of a visionary person that understood the necessities of our organization. I can also remember that in several meetings his name was mentioned as a solution for different problems.  We are sure that his family should be proud of his work during his life!

Ana Luisa Hofling-Lima MD (Brazil), PAAO President 2013-2015

I was very sorry to learn that Tim passed away. He was a great friend of ophthalmology and particularly had great love for Latin America. May he rest in peace.

William De La Peña MD (USA), PAOF President 2012-2015

I was very sorry to hear of Tim Sear’s passing.  This is a huge loss for ophthalmology.  He was a staunch supporter of the Pan-American. May he rest in peace.

Nelson Marques (Brazil), PAOF President 2009-2012

Dr. Richard Abbott, Tim Sear (photo credit Richard Abbott)

Tim Sear was a soft-spoken man who led by example and with no need for self-promotion.  His generosity pervaded all that he did for the Pan American. Mark J. Mannis MD (USA), PAAO President 2011-2013
For over 40 years I had the privilege of being close to Tim.  I learned from him the expression “borrow your ears”.  Such great advice in Ophthalmology, support for young leadership and beyond.  Thanks Tim! Always in my heart. Rubens Belfort Jr. MD (Brazil), PAOF President 2006-2009; PAAO President 2001-2003
Tim was a loyal and strong supporter of the PAAO and PAOF.  His generosity and business acumen helped lead the PAOF in its early days. I will always cherish the memories of his friendship.  He will be missed. Richard L. Abbott MD (USA), PAOF President 2003-2006; PAAO President 2007-2009
Tim Sear was a wonderful and engaging person. If David Pyott called him a fierce competitor, I call him a gentle giant. J. Bronwyn Bateman MD (USA), PAAO President 2003-2005
Tim Sear was a great leader, a ferocious competitor, but a fair man and a gentleman.  Sad to learn of his passing. David E.I. Pyott CBE (USA), PAOF President 2000-2003
Ophthalmology honors the memory of Tim Sear as a champion of eye and vision care for people throughout the world. Bradley R. Straatsma MD (USA), PAAO President 1985-1987
Tim Sear, Dr. Alice McPherson, Dr. Francisco Contreras (photo credit Richard Abbott)