Dr. Stephen Near grew up in Shelby, Michigan. He attended Muskegon Community College before going on to earn a Doctor of Optometry degree from Ferris State University in 1989. He has practiced in St. Louis since 1994 and has served on the St. Louis Downtown Development Authority board for many years. Dr. Near is a member of the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association.
When he is not working, Dr. Near enjoys gardening as well as playing guitar and keyboards. He and his wife Pepper also spend time biking and hiking.