A graduate of UC Berkeley, Dr. Stellhorn founded Manteca Optometric in 1971. He travels often to other countries on eye care focused humanitarian missions. Dr. Stellhorn was born in Charleston, West Virginia, where his father was stationed as a member of the Seabees. His passion as a youth was diving. He was good enough to qualify for the Olympic trials in 1970 and 1974. He also landed a spot on the storied UCLA dive team. But then he had to have a kidney removed ending his diving ambitions. After being sidelined while recovering he returned to UCLA where he served as the head coach for the women’s dive team back before women competed on NCAA sanctioned teams. Since the seventh grade, Dr. Stellhorn had his heart set on being a dentist. When it came time to apply for dental school, his mother Caroline Wertz Stellhorn offered to help with the applications given Dr. Stellhorn’s heavy workload. When the letters came back he found that USC and other dental schools said no. But then he got letters with “yes” from universities offering pharmacy school and optometry. He couldn’t believe his mother had applied to non-dental schools. But then he got to thinking that the mouth and eyes were only a few inches apart so he opted for Berkeley. After graduating in 1970 he got a job working as an optometrist in Selma. Then he went to work for Dr. Harry Odell who had his office near the Manteca Post Office. He struck out on his own taking over two vacant rooms in Dr. Eisner’s medical practice before having Scott Smith build his present location in 1979 and that was how Manteca optometric came about.
Dr. Stellhorn has founded Contacts for Good. It is an Internet site by the same name (contactsforgood.com). Those purchasing a year’s supply of contacts will generate the funding to buy a pair of prescription glasses for those with eyesight problems in impoverished communities and orphanages in Honduras, Mexico, and elsewhere. The concept is the same as the website Tom’s Shoes. Those who purchase a pair of shoes from the site trigger the delivery of another pair of shoes to the needy in Third World countries. What motivates Dr. Stellhorn is his desire to pay back California that made it possible for him to be educated as an optometrist. Dr. Stellhorns belief is to “Pay it forward”