Jim Crittenden, Eyeglass Store Pioneer Who Helped Bring The Lookouts Back To Chattanooga, Dies At 84

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Jim Crittenden
Jim Crittenden

Jim Crittenden, a pioneer in the eyeglasses business who also helped bring the Lookouts back to Chattanooga, has died at 84.

Born in 1935 in Riceville, Tn., Mr. Crittenden was best known for establishing Eyear 1 Hour Optical Inc. over 60 years ago. He was the first to open a 1 hour eyeglass superstore in Tennessee and the first to advertise in Tennessee after winning a lawsuit in the Tennessee Supreme Court.

He was probably most recognized for shaving off half of his beard for Eyear’s half price sales and for dying his beard purple in Eyear Optical commercials.

Mr. Crittenden also prominently assisted in bringing the Lookouts back to Chattanooga with Woodrow Reid back in the mid-70’s and for being an owner of the Lookouts for several years.  Having sold peanuts at Engel Stadium as a child, bringing baseball back to Chattanooga was a dream-come-true for him.

Mr. Crittenden was a member of Hickory Valley Christian Church and a 55-year member of the Chattanooga Civitan Club. He generously gave back to the community and was a long time supporter of the charities that Civitan supports.

He was predeceased by his parents, Marion Victor Crittenden and Nannie Elizabeth Belk Crittenden, his brother, Marion Victor Crittenden, Jr., his sister, Dorothy Ann Crittenden, his daughter, Peggy Crittenden Grant, and his granddaughter, Elizabeth Henderson. 

He is survived by his daughters, Cindy Henderson (Britt), Genia Durham (Dewayne), son-in-law Terry Grant, 16 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, his brothers, Virgil Crittenden (Ann) of Brownsville, Tex., and Jimmy Crittenden (Sharon) of Athens, Tn., and his sister, Faye Jones of Chattanooga, numerous nieces and nephews and his best friend Jerry Pond and the mother of his children, Susie Michal.

There will be no visitation and the family will have a private service for his interment.

Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.


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