Gadsden loses an influential woman

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Gadsden has lost a pillar of the community. Juanita Moman, 90, passed away on December 22, 2014.

Moman’s Eyecare, at 40 years old, has the distinction of being the oldest retail business on Broad Street. Juanita Moman opened in 1975 on Broad Street, as Moman’s Optical Dispensary. Being owned and operated by a woman marked Moman’s as a unique business back in ’75.

Through the years, Moman’s dedication to providing good customer service and quality prescription lenses has brought loyal customers, and Juanita’s dedication to bringing a selection of the most fashionable frames available has garnered industry praise.

She received the Optica Maestro Award (Master Optician of Italy Award) during a ceremony in the Piazza Vechio, in recognition of 25 years (at the time) of excellence in her business.

Moman was named one of the U.S. Optical Industry’s “50 Most Influential Women” in  2003, and she served as Chairman of the Guild of Professional Opticians of America. In 1979, Moman was selected by the Opticians Association of America as one of the best examples of the use of public relations in small business.

Moman’s career in eyecare afforded her some brushes with famous folks. She got to meet Sophia Loren in 1980 in France, as part of the promotion of Loren’s line of fashion frames.

In the late 1980s, Penny Singleton, who played Blondie Bumstead in a series of Blondie and Dagwood movies in the 1930s and 1940s was visiting a friend who lived in Fort Payne and lost her glasses. Her friend brought her to Moman’s to have a new pair of glasses made. 

Moman is survived by her husband, Bob, also 90. They were married 72 years. Sandra Moman Smith, daughter of Juanita and Bob, is the office manager of the family business. The Momans’ granddaughter, Dr. Karen S. Vanoy, currently works at a practice in Birmingham. She has two grandsons,  Todd A. Smith in South Carolina and Allen Smith in Ohio. She also had eight great-grandchildren, ranging from 6 to 22 years old.

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