Lansing, NY

James Jeffries Eyster Jr. died Tuesday, April 7, 2015 after suffering a stroke in Ithaca N.Y.

He grew up in Narberth, Pennsylvania, attended Lower Merion High School, Dickenson College, University of Pennsylvania, and received his PHD from Cornell University.  In 1963 he served as a Second Lieutenant in Company A of the First Engineer Battalion, Fort Riley, Kansas.

Jim was a wonderful father, husband, and great friend.  He was a great role model and inspiration to many people including students, friends, and family.  Spending time with children, his granddaughter, wife and other family members gave him great pleasure.  Involvement in his men’s writing group and meeting one on one with dear friends, meant a great deal to him. 
He was an avid reader with a book list requested by many.
He enjoyed being involved with many activities such as: driving for Gadabout, working with Loaves and Fishes, as a Boy Scout Leader and Eagle Scout, volunteering at The Friendship Donation Network and Louis Gossett Jr. Residential Center, birding, sailing with his son, taking walks with his wife, and having long talks with his daughter.  As a teacher, nominated by a student, he carried the Olympic Torch in Seneca Falls N.Y., as part of the 2002 Olympics.

The National Park service held a special place in his heart.  He loved nature and the outdoors.  He served as the chair while on the board for ten years of the National Park Service Concessions Management Advisory Board. He was a professor at the Cornell Hotel School for a number of decades.  His love of teaching was paramount in his career.  His connection with his students continued many years after he retired. Jim taught financial management, real estate, and initiated, the course, Housing and Feeding the Homeless.  He received a Chair and became a Professor Emeritus at the Hotel School.  He followed politics closely and was very concerned about the social and political injustices of the world as well as with human pain and suffering.  His doctoral study at Cornell of management contracts evolved into worldwide consulting work, and he was sought after by many of the leading hotel owners and management companies.  His book, “The Negotiation and Administration of Hotel and Restaurant Management Contracts”, was the go to book for the industry.  He also was involved in many lawsuits as an expert witness for management contract disputes.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Susan Brown Eyster; their children, Jennifer Bradley and husband, James, of Virginia, William James Eyster and wife, Norri, of Australia; granddaughter, Grace Elizabeth Bradley of V.A.; sister, Louise Pileri and husband, Graziano, of N.J.; sister in law, Helena C. Brown and husband Russell Warne of M.E.; a large extended family; as well as his faithful canine companion, Coconino.
A funeral service, co-officiated by Rev. Gurdon Brewster, and Rev. Dr. John McNeill, will be held at 1:00 pm, on Monday, April 13th, 2015 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 402 N. Aurora St., Ithaca NY.  Burial at Greensprings Natural Cemetery, Newfield, NY will be private.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to:  St Paul’s United Methodist Church, Hospicare of Ithaca, Farm Sanctuary at Watkins Glen, Friendship Donation Network, Finger Lakes Land Trust.  His family wishes to give special thanks to the ICU unit at Cayuga Medical Center.

Lansing Funeral Home is assisting the family.