Jack Benjamin

Jack Benjamin

Jack "J.B." Benjamin (1937 - 2010)

Born during the Great Depression, in Watseka, Illinois, Jack was the second youngest of six siblings. In 1955, he joined the Navy and served for 5 years as a Hospital Corpsman, spending time in the Philippines and Okinawa, Japan. His training in 1957 at the Naval Optician School in Bethesda, Maryland led to the lifelong career he loved so much. Upon leaving the Navy, Jack worked at Chesapeake Optical in Baltimore, Maryland before moving to Florida to work for Lens Tech, Inc., one of the first labs in the country to surface CR-39 (plastic) lenses in a production setting.

In 1977, Jack moved to Beaverton, Oregon and along with a partner started an innovative laboratory, aptly named Pioneer Optics. Directly across the street from Pioneer, a little shoe company named Blue Ribbon Sports was just getting rolling and officially changed its name the following year to Nike.

Sadly, the partnership that created Pioneer Optics dissolved in 1981, after which, Jack managed Ultra Optics Laboratory in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and then Midwest Uncuts in Indianola, Iowa before starting what would be the crown jewel of his optical career: Laramy-K Optical, in 1989. This time partnering with his wife Janet, the couple did what they knew best and built a loyal following of customers and friends through their own personal brand of service. Derived from their children’s names – Lara, Amy, and Keith – the name Laramy-K, speaks to what was most important in their lives. An honorable and caring employer and mentor, Jack continued to work at Laramy-K until he was physically unable.

Jack’s optical career spanned 55 years. He touched countless lives and passed on his love of optics to many. He will always be remembered and his legacy lives on in Laramy-K Optical; the company into which he poured his heart and soul.

Please, feel free to leave comments or memories below.


  1. very movimg, thanks so much for sharing.
    God Bless you guys
    Love, Joe

  2. Jack was the one that stole my first love….I was always glad that if it couldn’t have been me…that it was Jack…great person!

  3. What a beautiful tribute! I never got to work much with J.B. but he must have been an awesome guy to have such love poured into this tribute! And Lara…what an awesome voice! You can sing at my church anytime!!! Thanks for sharing guys. This is really special!

  4. I’m moved by this tribute to a man I wish I had known better and had worked alongside of. I will never forget the breakfast we shared together at Vision Expo West many yrs ago; it was a great time of laughter and sharing. What a joy to know we will be together in eternity! (Only no more eyeglasses needed.)

  5. Janet – Wow! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful & personal tribute with me! ALthough I never got to meet Jack (or yourself) you can tell how much he loved his family, friends & life just by his eyes. What a great smile, it makes you feel welcomed & comfortable. You two were very lucky to have each other,you too are a beautiful person-your smile & eyes tell me a lot. The music was beautiful! Keep being your AWESOME self! Love & prayers.
    Tina @ X-CEL OPTICAL

  6. Jack was my Uncle. He was married to my Mom’s sister for a time, and Jack is the one who introduced my brother and me to the optical industry that has been so good to us over the years. He hired me in to Lens-Tec as a “floater”, where I got to learn every part of the surfacing process. He jokingly “blamed” himself for getting us into this business, but it has been very good to us, and Jack is the reason. I miss him, and always think of him when I’m at any Optical Industry event. Love you, Uncle Jack.

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