Aaron Schubach.

SALT LAKE CITY—Services will be held here next week for Standard Optical's CEO, Aaron Schubach, 47, who passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 16. Aaron Richard Schubach was the fourth generation in the role of CEO at the optical company, one of the largest retailers and eyecare services providers in the state of Utah and the U.S. Standard Optical was started by his great grandfather in 1911. Schubach joined the company as VP marketing in 1999 and became CEO in 2017, succeeding his father, Stephen Schubach, who himself had followed in his father Richard's footsteps.

Aaron Schubach was born in 1976 to Carolyn and Stephen Schubach. He attended J.E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School, Judge Memorial High School, graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Business. His childhood was full of family fun at Fish Lake, playing basketball and football, and dancing in the Nutcracker.

Upon graduating from college, he started working in the family business, eventually taking on a leadership role. He pioneered advances in optical networking, increasing access to vision insurance, and helping make eyecare affordable for all Utahns. He worked to modernize eyecare with new technologies and innovations. He was respected by his colleagues nationwide.

Stephen Schubach told VMAIL, "There were so many ways that Aaron developed relationships with the staff, his managerial team, the doctors at Standard. When I experienced health issues in 2017, he took on the CEO position and he was a visionary, developing new ideas and direction for the business. Among his many key accomplishments: In 1986, my father and I started Opticare in Utah, which later became Opticare Vision Services. Aaron saw the business in insurance and building out a network as a major extension of our work at Standard and grew it from a business generating less than $1 million a year to its place at over $5 million today, serving a large population in the state."

Stephen Schubach said that Aaron also enjoyed his work developing Schubach Originals, a private label eyewear line for the group. He also noted that throughout the pandemic, Aaron oversaw and presided over the company's office closures, when all but four were shut down initially, then exploring how virtual care could make an impact to help patients through, and eventually reopening and finding new ways to operate in a new business environment. "He led the company back in very challenging times."

Vision Monday spoke to Aaron Schubach about those learnings—and some of the thinking that preceded the pandemic—in a special VM Conversations interview in June, 2020. Schubach was also a participant in VM's Leadership Summit in November 2021 where he talked about the challenge of "Embracing Rapid Change."

Aaron Schubach was active in the community, coaching kids in CYO basketball. He was a die hard 49ers fan, loved Utah football and basketball, Gonzaga basketball, hip hop, comedy, card tricks and live performances of all kinds.

He was a member of the YMCA, helping develop housing for women and children seeking shelter for domestic violence. He was on the board of the Haven, a non-profit group, and he saw that Standard supported the Food Bank. 

He became very active in the state legislatures, lobbying and spending countless hours to help in the efforts to protect optometry and expand the rights of ODs, something that Standard Optical did in conjunction with the Utah Optometric Association, recalled Stephen Schubach. 

He was a founding member of the Opti-Port group and Standard was a long-time member of the Optical Management Group for many years.

Aaron Schubach is survived by a large family. He is preceded in death by his grandparents: Richard Schubach, William and Catherine Goodwin. He is survived by his daughter, Emma, who he was so very proud of. He and her mother, Aundrea Brinkman, worked to surround Emma with love.

He is also survived by his brother, Nicholas Schubach (Dione) who works with Alcon Pharmaceuticals, his grandmother, Catherine Schubach, and other family. These include Jimmy Schubach, an optician/environmental engineer, his uncle; Mary Schubach, optician/philanthropist, his aunt; David Schubach, an optician who works with Luxottica, his uncle; Colleen Schubach, an optometrist with Moran Eye Center, his aunt; Tricia Schubach Bennett, who has her masters in social work, his aunt; and Dione Schubach, an optometrist, his sister-in-law. 

Services are open to anyone who would like to attend and will be held Friday Dec. 1 at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 1375 Spring Lane, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117 at 2:00 p.m. MST.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be mailed to Judge Memorial Catholic High School in honor of the Aaron Schubach Memorial Fund or online where there will be a tab for the Aaron Schubach Memorial Fund.