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Downers Grove

‘One fantastic fellow’: Downers Grove remembers Dr. Floyd Mizener

DOWNERS GROVE – Whenever Dr. Floyd Mizener’s name is mentioned, a long list of titles and accolades seems to follow.

Joyce Tumea, one of Mizener’s close friends, should know. She’s written a handful of ceremonial speeches about him, naming nearly every single award he’s received in his career.

He was “Floyd the Fantastic,” Tumea recently wrote in a speech. “Because that’s what he [was] – one fantastic fellow.”

A lifelong Downers Grove resident, Mizener often focused on giving back to the community. Throughout the years, Mizener was recognized by the village of Downers Grove, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Community High School District 99 and the Downers Grove Lions Club for his service, spirit and commitment to his hometown.

He was named Downers Grove Citizen of the Year. He was Good Samaritan of the Year.

An optometrist by trade, Mizener dedicated his work to helping people with their vision or hearing. Mizener opened a private practice in Downers Grove and later in nearby Naperville, but his biggest contribution came after former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar appointed him to set the standards for the driver’s license vision test, said Mark Mizener, Floyd Mizener’s eldest son.

In July, just two months before his death, Mizener was named the recipient of the Montrew Dunham Award by the Downers Grove Historical Society.

Floyd Mizener died Sept. 7 at age 95. He was preceded by his wife, Shirley, and is survived by his three children, Mark, Curtis and Allison, grandchildren Sabrina, Olivia, Melissa, Derek and Bridget and great-grandchildren Mason, Sebastian, Fionna, Ayriel, Hadley, Levi and Willow.

Mark Mizener said the last few days have been tough for him as he continues to grapple with his father’s death.

“It’s absolutely emotional for me right now,” he said in a phone interview. “I just still can’t believe that it really happened. I thought he might even have another 10 years more.”

Mark Mizener spoke openly about his father’s personality. As his son, he knew his father to be a man of the people. The words “supportive,” “incredible” and “devoted” lovingly follow each other in every description.

Floyd Mizener’s life was so full that he tried to write it all down, documenting the ups and downs of his childhood, said Mark Mizener, who edited – and currently revisited – his father’s autobiography. Now, the book is split into two parts.

“I was very lucky to have a dad like I had,” Mark Mizener said.

Tumea and Hal Burke, another of Floyd Mizener’s friends, shared Mark Mizener’s sentiments. They knew Floyd Mizener to be loyal, funny and charming. He always had a smile on his face, Tumea said.

She went on to talk more about Floyd Mizener’s kindness and thoughtfulness –“and people really loved that. They just gravitated to him.”

“I really feel privileged because he was a very special person,” she said. “The longer I knew him, the more I learned about him and could appreciate all that he had done and all that he was.”

In an email, Burke wrote that Floyd Mizener was a go-getter and never believed in the phrase “can’t be done.”

“Floyd will be deeply missed because he was a good man who constantly strived to inspire and improve the quality of the people he met,” Burke said.

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