Father's Day - Remembering Don Bechtel
by Mike Bechtel on Jun 17, 2016
With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I’d like to take a moment to honor my grandfather, Don Bechtel. Having lost an eye at 12 years old, he was the inspiration behind SSP Eyewear. This business is dedicated to him.
The story goes that he was horsing around with some friends one day and a rock was thrown; my grandfather lost his left eye. He never shared more details, other than to explain that they were kids being kids. In fact, it wasn’t until his 60th high school reunion that someone told the person responsible that Dan had lost his eye that day. Obviously, the man was in disbelief that no one had ever told him before and felt terrible. But that was how my grandfather was. He never wanted anyone to carry the blame for his loss, nor did his parent. As he said, “kids were being kids.”
Don later married the girl next door, his childhood friend, Jean. My grandfather was an avid family man, fisherman, RV’er and marksman. He excelled at everything he did, despite missing an eye, often outperforming people with perfect vision. He was always quick to smile and went out of his way to make people laugh.
My grandparents were married until Jean passed away in her late 70’s. He and I spent a lot of time together after we lost my grandmother. We would discuss business ideas that could make an impact on people’s lives. It was out of this relationship that I was inspired to create SSP Eyewear. It became my passion to make affordable, stylish safety sunglasses, hoping that SSP Eyewear could help protect something so many people take for granted – their eyesight. Through this company, I strive to introduce new products that will not only protect your eyes, but improve your lifestyle. The foundation of my business is that, if we can get you in a pair of safety glasses that you really enjoy wearing, we just might be what stands between you and the loss of your sight.
Our glasses are great for so many different environments. Whether you’re an electrician who could use some magnification at the top of your lenses, a lab tech that needs to protect from splashes but also needs the magnification of readers, a cyclist trying to save yourself from dry eye syndrome, or a marksman needing magnification in just one lens, SSP Eyewear has specialty glasses just for you that look great and fit comfortably. We have received terrific feedback over the years from the medical field as much as from police and shooting ranges. Even if you’re just out mowing your lawn, our glasses look and feel good enough that you’ll be happy to wear them, and that just may be what saves your eyes.
So, on behalf of all our customers who have prevented an injury by wearing SSP Eyewear, and on behalf of his family through whom his memory lives on, I take this moment to thank Don Bechtel. Please let his example inspire you to be quick to smile, and always protect your eyes!
Founder of SSP Eyewear