Eyssen, James "Jim" Edward

U.S. Army Veteran Was Co-Founder Of Associates In Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery

  • Saturday, May 25, 2024

James "Jim" Edward Eyssen was born on June 10, 1945, in Cleveland, Ohio, and peacefully departed to be with our Lord on May 21, 2024.

Jim was the inaugural class of Brainerd High School but found his most cherished schooling memories were spent at the University of Kentucky where in 1968 he graduated majoring in pre-medicine. He attended The University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, Tn., where graduating in 1970 as a general surgeon. After graduating, Jim served in the U.S. Army Reserves from June 1971 to May 1980 as a medical doctor, achieving the rank of Major. He continued his internship at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, Tn., receiving the award of Outstanding Intern of the Year. Jim relocated to Erlanger in Chattanooga where he continued his medical residency then advancing in general surgery as chief resident in his last year. He then furthered his studies at UTC Medical-Erlanger to include plastic surgery, becoming Board Certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. In 1978, he joined with Art Von Werssowetz to co-found Associates in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Jim practiced for 37 years, retiring in 2015, always highly respected for his excellent surgery and warm friendly patient care.

Jim was preceded in death by his beloved father, Dr. Robert E. Eyssen in 1982, and his mother, Virginia Pearl Jones Eyssen, in 2011.

Left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife, Theresa Heiler Eyssen of Ider, Al., and his children: Timothy William (Kari) Eyssen of Chattanooga; Jennifer Eyssen Irwin (Dale) of Ft. Payne, Al.; Sharon Collins (Richard, deceased) of Hixson; and Mandy Eyssen Keel (Dr. Brad Keel) of Chattanooga. He is also survived by his brothers: Tom Robert (Dr. Elise Schriver) Eyssen of Knoxville, and Mark Eyssen of Chattanooga. Additionally, Jim leaves behind his stepchildren: Amelia (Chris) Farmer, Kelly (Michael) Gay, Misti Miller, and Matthew Miller, and a host of adoring grandchildren: Alex, Alexis, Avery, Conway, Allister, Shiloh, Reilly, Caston, Colton, Hunter, Kylie, Caleigh, Caden, Keirsi Kathleen Mooney Miller, and Ryot Matthew Bracey. His absence will be deeply felt by all who knew and loved him.

Jim's life was a testament to his unwavering faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, intertwined with his profound love for nature. This love was instilled in him at a young age through rabbit hunting adventures with his dad on Sand Mountain, Al., and idyllic summers at his uncle Bill Eyssen's Mapleside Farms in Brunswick, Ohio. It was during these experiences that he fell in love with the land and later chose Woodybrooke to be his home. His love for nature was exemplified through his passion for bird watching and woodworking.

He developed an intimate knowledge of the natural world, able to identify every tree in the forest. Renowned for his craftsmanship, Jim possessed an exceptional talent for fashioning exquisite wooden furniture, a skill he viewed as both a passion and an art form. When asked about the risks of woodworking, he humorously quipped, "I've mastered surgery just to indulge in my woodworking passion." Beyond his mastery of woodcraft, Jim embraced farming, hunting, and deep-sea fishing with equal enthusiasm. While he traversed the country in pursuit of big game, it was the tranquil waters that truly captivated him in his later years. Jim's sharp wit, coupled with his boundless intellect, illuminated every gathering he attended. Revered for his warmth and generosity, he was a loyal friend, finding joy in sharing laughter and the camaraderie of sports with his beloved family and friends, in particular the Kentucky Wildcats.

In the hearts of those who knew him, Jim will forever be revered as a legend, his towering presence, unwavering kindness, remarkable talents and intellect leaving a lasting impression on the world around him.

Details regarding a celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

Instead of flowers, Jim’s request was for donations to be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude's Place, Memphis, Tn. 38105. Alternatively, you may choose to make a donation to the Ider Missionary Baptist Church at 1695 Dogwood Drive, Ider, Al. 35981.

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