Dr. Schonder

Dr. Bud Schonder

Eye Care Professionals has been serving the vision needs of the Reno area since the 1950s, and a big part of that legacy is attributed to Dr. Bud Schonder, who was a partner in the practice from the 1970s to mid 2000s. Dr. Schonder died in December of 2023, and he is fondly remembered by his former partner, ECP’s current owner and ophthalmologist, Dr. Matthew Mills.

Dr. Mills went into the military after medical school and residency and served in the army for three years at Fort Riley in Kansas. After his service, it was time to start looking at joining a private practice. He is from Texas and it would have been easy to go home, but Dr. Mills wanted to head west.

“I wanted to be in the mountains, and possibly near the ocean if I could,” Dr. Mills remembers. “I looked all over the west, but it wasn’t until Bud found my resume and we met up in New Orleans at a conference, that I felt I had found a good fit.”

Dr. Mills and Dr. Schonder hit it off at that first meeting at the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 1998, and so Dr. Mills started researching Reno.

“I had never been to Reno before, but when I started looking it up, I fell in love with the mountains and seeing the ski resorts and Lake Tahoe right there!” Dr. Mills says.

Dr. Schonder brought Dr. Mills to Reno and Eye Care Professionals in October of 1999 and they worked together for over a decade. Dr. Mills remembers Dr. Schonder as a terrific surgeon who also had a great wit and sense of humor, but not much of a filter.

Dr Schonder at an ECP Christmas Party

Dr. Schonder at an ECP Christmas Party

“He was always direct in his comments to and about people, and I say this affectionately, he never lost his filter because I don’t think he ever had one!” Dr. Mills laughs.

Patients found that sense of humor charming and because he was direct, they felt like they were in good and capable hands. Dr. Shonder had the deep respect of his peers because he performed cataract and refractive surgery at the highest level throughout his career.

Dr. Schonder’s reputation and the way he ran his practice were why Dr. Mills decided to join the practice and also become a partner at Eye Care Professionals.

“The thing that attracted me to this practice is that even though Bud is a generation ahead of me, he managed to remain very current and forward thinking and was always moving the practice towards advancement,” Dr. Mills says. “That is important to me – to always be on the leading edge of what will work best for our patients.”

Dr. Mills and Dr. Schonder worked together for 15 years before Dr. Schonder retired. Eye Care Professionals started with Dr. Clark in the 1950s, evolved with Dr. Schonder in the 1970s, and continues to innovate and provide the best vision care in the Reno area with Dr. Mills since the 1990s.

Dr Schonder and his wife Kathy

Dr. Schonder and his wife, Kathy

“I am happy to continue the legacy of excellence and care that Schonder perpetuated but that started with Dr. Clark,” Dr. Mills says. “I’ve been in the practice for 25 years and owned it for 21 years. I appreciate Bud giving me the opportunity and bringing me to Reno. I met my wife here, have three kids and really made a life here. Reno has been incredibly good to me and my family.”

Dr. Schonder will be remembered by our practice as an innovative ophthalmologist and surgeon who helped countless people in the Reno area restore their vision. We are honored at ECP to carry on his legacy and he will be missed.