James Jeffries Eyster Jr.
Lansing Funeral Home
32 Auburn Road
Lansing, NY
Eyster, Jr., James Jeffries

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.

Published by Ithaca Journal on Apr. 10, 2015.
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75 Entries
Even now we all remember that smile, and the man behind it. He was a good man, an inspired teacher, and a great friend. The Hotel School was his passion, and he spent himself on its behalf in being a committed teacher, a concerned adviser, and a supportive colleague. We shall not see his like again. God bless him and his family.
Malcolm Noden
April 4, 2020
Jim was an outstanding teacher and an inspiration to all of his students. He could talk about almost anything from sophisticated financials to spiritual searching to how to create the most respectful relationships with those you love. I'll always remember how he described his favorite part of reading the Wall Street Journal and how it had nothing to do with finance. He is a generous and very rare soul who while he was here did so much to beautify our world. His inspiration lives on through his family, his friends and his colleagues. Thank you, Jim.
December 17, 2016
I'm so saddened to hear this news. He was a very special person.
April 2, 2016
I'm deeply saddened to learn that Professor Eyster passed away. He was my favorite Professor. He convinced me to apply to the Hotel School when has was teaching Finance at the Glion Hotel School in Switzerland in 1988. I will always be grateful for his support. He was one of the kindest and most inspiring people I have ever met. I learned so much from him. I would like to express my sincere condolences to his wife and family.
Petra Beyer
June 30, 2015
Professor Eyster shall ever be the kind of person and professor I aspire to be: kind, smart, thoughtful, warm, centered, and so many other fine qualities.
sean hennessey
June 4, 2015
I am deeply saddened by Jim Eyster's passing. He was smart, kind, challenged you in the most supportive way. A gentle soul with a twinkle in his eyes - his impact on so many of us was deep, he taught us things that cannot be found in books but make all the difference in our lives.
Regula Wipf
May 31, 2015
Sue, my deepest feelings,
Joao DeAbreu
May 30, 2015
Deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Professor Eyster's passing. I worked as a TA for him back in 1985 and 1986. What a truly inspirational man he was and my heartfelt sympathies to his dear wife and family.
Saskia D'Aguilar-Schutte
May 30, 2015
Professor Eyster( I too could never address him as Jim)was an icon at the Cornell SHA. I have always considered myself very fortunate to have had him as a teacher. I clearly recall what a tremendous inspiration he was for many students at the Hotel School.
Daniel Lesser
May 29, 2015
I have not seen Professor Eyster for 36 years, yet he has been in my thoughts no less than monthly since my graduation in May of 1979. I am writing this through tears. He educated me about numbers, but he taught me about kindness, patience, persistence, organization, efficiency, and compassion. He was a great teacher, and will always be a great man.
Kevin Gleason
May 29, 2015
Dear Eyster family,

As so many have said, Jim was one of the best people, teachers, men we knew. A truly sad loss for so many. I will always remember him. You can't imagine how much he brought to the national parks and the National Park Service in terms of his guidance and understanding and knowledge of our concessions program. More than those who actually work for NPS! He was truly first-class! I was honored to have known him. May wonderful memories comfort you all forever.

Sandy Poole
Chief of Concessions
Midwest Region, NPS
Sandy Poole
May 22, 2015
Professor Eyster was awesome and added significantly to my learning experience at Cornell. I remember one summer, several years after graduation, we were in the Tetons at Jackson Lake Lodge and his daughter was one of our servers. She had on her name-tag which said that her hometown was Ithaca, NY. After making the connection, I mentioned to her how very much I enjoyed having her Dad as a teacher!!

Reading his BIO I am moved to know what a multi-faceted educator and person he was. As a student, sometimes that isn't really recognized until years later and you have worked to develop your own life after school.

I was blessed to have had him as a Professor.

Laurie Clemente Milnor-Hotel '75
May 22, 2015
Professor Eyster was truly one of the greatest professors at Cornell. He was also one of the warmest. I took both HA 325 Hospitality Financial Management and HA326 Real Estate Finance and was also very fortunate to be his teaching assistant in both courses. Jim helped me develop a critical perspective that has served me well ever since. As the occasional guest lecturer at university, I have also found myself copying his teaching style.
Jon Jonsson
May 14, 2015
Dear Sue and Family: Jud and I were so sorry to hear of Jim's sudden passing. We wish you comfort and peace in the memories you hold dear. In deepest sympathy Sue Kilgore
Sue & Jud Kilgore
May 8, 2015
they are a very few people in life who are true teachers and scholars. Professor Eyster was very dear in my heart for his influence on my education and life's work. I graduated in 1979 but his lectures and logic will resonate with me for life. A true privilege to sit in his class and a rare breed .
geoffrey hewitt
April 30, 2015
Professor Eyster (I could never call him Jim, although I am over 60 now)was one of the two most important professors in my Cornell Hotel School experience. To this day, I use knowledge that he taught in his Hotel Finance course. My prayers to his family and may he rest in peace.

Art Marshall, Portland Maine
Art Marshall
April 23, 2015
I'll always remember him. I am sorry for the loss and extend my deepest sympathy
S lee Bowden
April 22, 2015
Dear Eyster family,

At Cornell Hotel School two members of the faculty had a huge impact during my time there and for the next 40 years. Prof Jim Eyster was one of them. He was a brilliant educator, had the unbelievable talent to pass on information. I can still hear his words during the last senior class in the spring of my graduation year:
" I have suffered to seen you suffer" .
He challenged us, and we learned.
To this day his teachings have been with me.
My condolences to the family. His teachings will live on forever.
Fred Hirschovits
April 21, 2015
Susan and family,
My relationship with Jim remains the best professional relationship I have ever had. Jim was a true friend, mentor, and colleague. I miss him greatly.
Jan deRoos
April 20, 2015
April 20, 2015
Paul Gaurnier. Jim was a true teacher.
April 19, 2015
Dear Susan, the warmth, unconditional love and radiance that you and Jim have brought to this world and to me personally have always been powerful. In my darkest days..whenever I saw Jim, he always reached out with a love that felt hopeful and full of light. Rebecca spoke of him in church this am and her words resounded that same love.
May the love and light of God hold you in these difficult times.
April 19, 2015
Dear Susan, knowing Jim was truly a privilege and I will miss our monthly calls (about baseball, family, travel, ...)
Jorge Maldonado
April 16, 2015
Of all the teachers I remember fondly during my "Hotel years" at Cornell, Jim stands out as the one with whom I had the truest connection. His passion for teaching with care and compassion has stayed with me all these years. We have lost a great light within the Cornell community. Sad, indeed. Kathy Dixon Leone '80
Kathy Dixon-Leone
April 15, 2015
Dear Susie, I am very sorry for your loss. I first met Jim at ESSEC in Paris where he taught me management contracts, a truly memorable course for his gentle and rigorous teaching style. I got to know him better at SHA as a kind and well-respected colleague. The one thing I will always remember is him sending thoughtful hand written notes every time he learned someone in the building had done something worthwhile. Anytime I needed sage advice, Jim was the go to guy. Ultimately, my professional North star came to be summarized in 3 words: be like Jim! He will be missed. Joyce and I send our thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Warm regards, Cheki
Chekitan Dev
April 14, 2015
Dear Sue and Family,
We were very sad to hear about Professor Eyster. He was one of our favourite people at the Hotel School. Even before the Hotel School, he was Andy's Eagle Scout leader and influential in his decision to go to Cornell. Our condolences to your family.
Andy Shay and Meredith Johnson
April 14, 2015
Jim was and will always will be to me the man in this photograph; upbeat, thoughtful and with a gentle smile for everyone. Literally thousands of us are much the better for having known him, learned from him and having had him as a friend or as a mentor/coach. He left everything he touched better than when he found it. Please know that Brenda and I are thinking of Jim, you and your family. With our heartfelt condolences, Ed and Brenda Evans
Ed Evans
April 13, 2015
To all the Eysters - Know you are in my heart and prayers. I am so very saddened to hear about Jim's passing. He was such a wonderful person- always supportive and inspirational. He gave me a tractor pin many years ago when I graduated and I am wearing it today as I celebrate his life and all the wonderful things he did and stood for. I will always remember great talks and laughs at Palfrey Lake. Jim lives on through all of us whose lives he touched. Lots of love always.
Sarah Brewster
April 13, 2015
I am so sorry for your great loss. Your family is in my thoughts.
Soshi Cook
April 13, 2015
To Susan and the Eyster family,
I am deeply saddened to hear of Jim's passing. He was such a kind and generous teacher, mentor and friend. He embodied living intentionally. He had such faith in all of our abilities, career and otherwise. He tread so lightly on this earth yet left such a profound impact on everyone. Rest in peace, Prof. My condolences and prayers are with you all.
Madeleine White MPS'81
April 13, 2015
I am so sadden to hear the news. I have wonderful memories from both my time with him at Cornell and outdoor activities in Ellis Hollow. My prayers are with your family.
Bonnie (BJ Taber) Amato
April 13, 2015
To Professor Eyster' family, sorry to hear about your huge loss. He will be always in our prayers. Our condolences and RIP James!
Viet Vo
April 13, 2015
Sue, We were shocked to learn of Jim's death. We had only met you and Jim the previous Friday! I had such a lovely chat with you and Ernie with Jim. Ernie was replying to Jim's email about books to read about WWII. We send you our deepest sympathy for your unexpected and deep loss.

Ann Halpern and Ernest Bury
Ann Halpern
April 13, 2015
Dear Sue,

I was so sorry to hear the news of Jim's passing. He was one of my favorite professors in the Hotel School. I was always appreciative of his kindness. He will be deeply missed by so many. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Jane Miller
Jane Miller
April 13, 2015
Eyster family, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband/father/grandpa. His easy gentleness was the most important thing I learned at the Hotel School. What a wonderful human being.
Jennifer Irwin
April 13, 2015
Jim was a great professor, mentor, and role model. He made valuable contributions to the hotel industry and touched many lives along the way - he will be missed.
Greg Denton
April 13, 2015
Dear Sue, Jenny and Jamie and all the family, I was devastated to hear of your loss. Jim was one of the sweetest, kindest men I have ever met and an amazing human being. I have so many wonderful memories of growing up near you all, being in church groups, caroling together, getting Christmas trees. My heart goes out to all of you. With love, Molly
Molly Thomas McKinney
April 12, 2015
Dear Sue and family,
I was devastated to hear of Professor Eyster's passing. He was an extraordinary teacher and person. He had such a profound impact on my life. I only learned of his passing this morning as we were headed to Narberth for t-ball and driving past Lower Merion high school. My deepest and sincerest condolences to you and your entire family.
Liz Foo
April 12, 2015
Dear Sue, Jan and I were deeply saddened to read of Jim's death. Our heart felt blessings go out to you and your family. God bless you all.
Jan and Mike Shay
April 12, 2015
Sue, Jenny, & Jamie-
Melinda and I learned early on (by house, teenage son, and wandering Corgy sitting) what it meant to be part of a great family. Jim was mentor, friend, confidant, and roll model all in one. We are devastated by the news, but comforted by the incredible memories we all share together.
You are close in our thoughts and prayers.
Melinda & Chris Muller
April 12, 2015
He was the best teacher I had at Cornell. Brilliant and caring.

Neal Scott
MPS 1982
Neal Scott
April 11, 2015
Dear Sue and Family, I was so sad to hear of Jim's passing. He was my professor and was a wonderful person. He contributed so much to so many. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Cindy Estis Green
April 11, 2015
Sue, Jenny, Jamie and the entire Eyster Family,
Jim was simply the kindest and most generous person I have ever met. His impact on me as a person (leaving aside the wonderful things he did for my career) is a gift that I will always have with me and it was an honor to be in his presence. Further, this kindness has been core to your entire family. Sue and Jenny I remember having dinner with you so many years ago after moving to dinner...Your kindness and sincerity remain with me always.
Mike Everett
April 11, 2015
Dear Susie, Jenny and Jamie,

I was so shocked and saddened to hear about Jim. He is my favorite friend of my dad's. I have such fond memories of my childhood , when Jim and I would bet popcorn every baseball season---who would be on top of the National League Eastern Division--the Phillies or the Mets? We probably both won and lost the same---but I remember looking forward to the conversation every year. He was a wonderful human being. My thoughts and love are with you all. Love, Bonnie
Bonnie Geller
April 11, 2015
Professor Eyster was simply one of the best professors ever. Thank you for educating us, for giving us very much needed Teaching Assistant positions, for laughing with us and most of all, for being patient with us. RIP Professor Eyster. Fondly, Kathleen Murphy -Cornell School of Hotel Administration, B.S.- 1987
April 11, 2015
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Jim. He was an inspiration to us and to our boys with his activity and leadership in Cubscouts and Boyscouts. Jim will be sorely missed.
Elisabeth and Herb Schryver
April 11, 2015
Sue, I'm so very shocked and so sad to learn of Jim's death. As you know, we had many similar interests and "projects". He was always so kind and patient with everything. My thoughts and meditations are with you.
Therese O'Connor
April 11, 2015
Susie, we were so saddened to learn of Jim's passing such a shock for one who always was so upbeat and energetic. Jim was a role model for every student fortunate enough to know him. This is a great loss to the SHA community as well as to you and your family.
Susan and Bill Callnin
April 11, 2015
Dear Sue and Family,
It was with great sadness to learn of Jim's passing. It was a privilege and honor to have worked with Jim at SHA. He was truly a very special man. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Donna Vose
April 11, 2015
My dear Susie, Geoff and I were shocked and overwhelmingly saddened when we heard the news of Jim's passing. We both love you so dearly and are praying for your comfort during this difficult time. He was a wonderful mentor, confidante, and friend. We cherish the memories and will deeply miss him.
April 10, 2015
I am so sorry to learn of Jim's passing. It was a privilege to have Professor Eyster as a teacher in college, and an honor to have him as a mentor and friend upon graduation. He will be missed. My sincere condolences to the Eyster family.
Chad Crandell
April 10, 2015
Dear Sue, Jenny and Jamie,
Marion and I were heartbroken to learn of Jim's death. The memories flood back of such a decent, kind and loving man. He set an example for his friends and students alike. You all are so very much in our thoughts.
Serge Pepper
April 10, 2015
Sue and family, I was heartbroken to hear of the passing of Jim this week. Jim and I worked together on several initiatives for the National Park Service Concessions Program and his leadership and insight were invaluable. Jim was a good friend and colleague who will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences.
Geoff Baekey
April 10, 2015
Dear Susan and the entire Eyster family; I am very sorry for your loss. Jim was an incredible educator, mentor and friend. I learned so much from him that I've used throughout my life. Jim's responsible for a key job in Dallas that really shaped my career from then on. I will always be grateful for his kindness.
John Klumph
April 10, 2015
Professor Eyster was one of our iconic professors at Cornell, universally respected, universally liked. He was a patient, intelligent, kind man who was an advocate for his students. He was a wonderful teacher who made a profound difference to his students. Please accept our heartfelt sympathy and prayers for his family.
Mary and Joe Pesaresi
April 10, 2015
It is with sorrow that we mark Jim's passing, but with great appreciation as we remember his impact on s and the friendship we shared. He was a delight to be with.
Michael Kay
April 10, 2015
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Jim was a great colleague, with a kind and gentle manner. Susie, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Cathy Enz
April 10, 2015
Dear Sue and Family -

It's been a long time, and we sort of lost touch since my retirement (20+ years ago!), but I will always deem it a great privilege to name Jim Eyster among my friends and colleagues. He set an example that any man would find difficult to follow. You and yours will be deeply in our thoughts.

David and Joyce Dunn
April 10, 2015
Susie, I am so sorry to hear about Jim's passing. He was an amazing colleague, mentor, and friend, and he will be sorely missed. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
J Bruce Tracey
April 10, 2015
Dear Sue and Family,
Few people have shaped my life more deeply and positively than Jim. While saddened by his loss I am comforted to remember him as a mentor and inspiration for a life well lived. My thoughts are with you.
Mark Eble
April 10, 2015
I was both a co-worker and student of Jim's. I learned so much from him. He was a great teacher. I will remember him in my prayers.
Kathrynne Teeter
April 10, 2015
Memories of days in the Narberth Scout Troop, Resica Falls, Cornell then Laventhol. Jim never changed...always the class act of any group. My sincerest condolences to the entire Eyster clan.
Peter Tyson
April 10, 2015
Sue, Our deepest sympathies. Respected and loved by all. Sue and Dave Arnold
April 10, 2015
Professor Eyster touched all of us in so many ways. Our hearts are with his family at this time.
Karen Kostecky Crump
April 10, 2015
So very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. My deepest condolences to the Eyster family. Professor Eyster meant a lot to the Cornell community, to the National Park Service and well beyond. He will be sorely missed.
Reed Woodworth
April 10, 2015
It was one of the great hallmarks of our time and service together at SHA that I counted Jim as a friend and a colleague. Susan, please know that we shall say a prayer for him, for you and the family as you grieve the passing of this good man. I am reminded of the passage in the new testament about our friendship.
Philippians 1:3 - "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you"
April 10, 2015
Professor Eyster was a great scholar and teacher. He changed the industry and wrote the book on management contracts which separated ownership from management. He taught me managerial accounting wasn't just about numbers, it was about communication. This had a lasting impact on my entire career. My sincere condolences to the family. May he rest in peace.
Ted Teng
April 10, 2015
Jim was a wonderful mentor and colleague, as well as an inspiration to all who knew him. He knew how to live life to the fullest. Susie, please accept my condolences.
Daphne Jameson
April 10, 2015
My deepest sympathy for your loss...may the love and support you have in family and great friendships surround you and guide you through this very difficult time.
Love, peace and light to all of you.
Mia Ruiz-Salvador
April 10, 2015
Dear Susan and the entire Eyster Family,

I am so saddened to her about Jim's passing. I have very fond memories from my childhood of dinners at the Eyster household. I always thought Jim was once of the most caring, fun and nice men I had ever known. Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Amy Geller
April 10, 2015
Susan, Jamie, and family,
very sorry to hear of the passing of Jim. I always enjoyed our chats, however infrequent. A kind soul.
John friedeborn
April 10, 2015
Heartfelt condolences to Jim's family and friends. I was so sad to read of his passing - he was such a kind, genuine friendly man and always knew names no matter how long it was in between visits and always stopped in for a hello when he was in the office. He will be sorely missed and always remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Diane Craig
April 10, 2015
Dearest Sue, Jenny, Jamie, and All,
We loved Jim and love you all dearly. Jim's life is such a tribute to the goodness of humankind.
Ann & Buck Johnson-Hales
April 10, 2015
Dear Sue and. Family,
We are so sorry to hear of your loss.
Nancy and David Gersh
April 10, 2015
Please accept our sincerest condolences. Jim was a great friend and mentor and will be missed.
Bill and Debbie Minnock
April 9, 2015
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