Dr. James L. Nisson

Dr. James L. Nisson Jim died in Eureka on May 1, 2013, one day short of his 84th birthday. He is survived by his wife, Sharon and their seven children: Cathy Richter of Yuba City, Timothy Nisson, Esq. of Redding, Dr. Robert Nisson of Shingle Springs, Mark Nisson of Davis, Laura Stasack of Eugene, OR, Lynne Bills of Elk Grove, and Thomas Nisson of Eureka. He is also leaves 13 wonderful grandchildren: Ryan, Laura, Amy, David, Sarah, Emily, Dylan, Carly, Haley, Alexandra, Spencer, Jacqueline and James; as well as two sisters, Joyce McCullough and Carol Nisson both of Walnut Creek. Jim inherited a dairy farm in Ferndale which his paternal grandfather established in 1871. Jim's father was born on the ranch. His mother was born in Denmark and came to Ferndale with her family when she was only seven years old. Jim was proud of his heritage, always loved the farm and wanted never to sell. Shortly after their marriage, his parents moved to Eureka where his father was employed as a Dairy Inspector for Humboldt County and surrounding areas. Jim attended Eureka City Schools, graduating from Eureka High in 1947. That fall he enrolled at Humboldt State College in Arcata and graduated in 1951 with a degree in biology. In the fall of 1951 he took the first step toward his career goal when he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in San Francisco now the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry. It was while studying and living in San Francisco that he met his life's love, Sharon. They were married in 1953 and were together for nearly 60 years. Upon completion of Dental School in 1955, Jim entered the U.S. Army. He was ordered to Fort Lewis, WA, where he held the rank of Captain and served as a dentist for two years. Jim enjoyed practicing dentistry for forty-five years. He was a highly respected member of the Humboldt County dental community where he served on numerous committees as well as serving a term as president of the Humboldt Del Norte Dental Society. He was a dedicated practitioner who appreciated and respected his patients. Over the many years of treating them, their children and even their grandchildren, he came to know them well and counted them friends as well as patients. Jim was also involved in the founding of the Redwood Swim Club and was a fond supporter and fan of the growing team. He enjoyed sports, especially college football and for many years was a season-ticket holder at Redwood Bowl; attending with friends, his father and later his children. He was a devoted and loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. His unwavering integrity was reflected in both his personal and professional lives. For Jim, honesty in all things was the bedrock of good character. He was at once confident and humble. He always knew he was neither more nor less important than the man beside him, regardless of stations, in this very temporary life. With Sharon at his side, his first priority was to make sure all of his children could fulfill their educational aspirations. He often joked that he would sell pencils on the street to keep them in school. Fortunately dentistry was more efficient and he was able to help them all become college graduates, work in professional fields or both. It was his main purpose in life and for his adoring children, that will be his legacy. After his retirement Jim spent most of his time visiting and being visited by his children and grandchildren. He especially enjoyed being an almost daily part of the life of his youngest grandchild and namesake, James, whose very first word was Jim. Later as Jim grew more and more frail, young James returned his grandpa's love with the special sweet gentleness of an 8-year-old. On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Jim 's children collaborated in making a very special book filled with family pictures to tell him how important he was to them. The introduction to this book reads as follows: "JAMES LEONARD NISSON A picture is worth a thousand words but it would take a million to adequately express how much our dad means to us and to the many lives his kindness, joy and generosity have touched. He has been a loving, devoted husband, a dedicated and talented dentist, and an awesome father who went to endless games and swim meets and paid for almost 50 years of college. Fifty! Boggles the mind! We can't thank him enough for the love he gives us and the amazing role model he is. WE LOVE YOU! Cathy, Tim, Bob, Mark, Laura, Lynne and Tom" This very special being came into our world on May 2, 1929, and graced it with love and goodness for 84 years (minus one day). Those of us who knew him best are so much better for having known him. He was honest, intelligent, curious, gentle, stubborn but always fair; and had such a wonderful, fun, quirky sense of humor. He was so loved and he will be missed more than words can say. Goodbye, Sweetheart. In accordance with his wishes, a private family memorial was held. We shared many wonderful memories and bade our dear Jim farewell. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com, click on obits.


Published in Eureka Times-Standard from May 15 to May 17, 2013