Jim Eiseman Sr.
Dec. 14, 1918 — March 7, 2014
WALLA WALLA — Jim E. Eiseman Sr., 95, passed away March 7, 2014, at Wheatland Village, where he was a resident. Jim was born Dec. 14, 1918, in Benge, Wash., to Joe and Gladys Sanford Eiseman. He graduated in 1938 from Gem State Adventist Academy, Caldwell, Idaho. On Nov. 19, 1939, he and Lela Mary Mannen married in Caldwell. When Jim was in the academy, he sang in a quartet and continued to sing throughout his life, with his wife usually accompanying him at the piano. He also sang with his children and friends and also loved listening to music being played. His children and grandchildren remember being awakened by him turning on the music on Sabbath morning.
Jim was a baker all of his life, owning his own bakeries in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. He and his wife, Lela, always worked together in their bakeries. He was well-known for his Finn bread, Dutch Apple bread and huckleberry pies. He was known by his grandchildren as the “Donut Grandpa” and to his great-grandchildren as the “Cinnamon Roll Grandpa.” On his 90th birthday, his children threw a big party and requested that he make cinnamon rolls in his bakery and bring them to the party. Many people knew him for his cinnamon rolls.
Work was his passion. If he wasn’t busy in the bakery, he was always trying to think of what else he could do. Much of his life he spent in construction, building the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Diamond Lake, Wash., Payette Lakes Care Center in McCall, Idaho, as well as family homes. He had designed his own home in Elk, Wash., as a tribute to his wife. In Spokane, he also owned and operated the Tip Top Well Drilling business.
Jim loved to read. Family would give him books, and he would read a book in a day. Since his retirement, he has had more time and would read his Bible through at least two or three times a year, along with other reading.
He was always very involved in his church, giving Bible studies everywhere he lived. He also preached for about 10 years, giving many sermons in small churches in Washington where there were no pastors available on a regular weekly basis. He also enjoyed watching baseball games.
He worked as a baker until he was 91½ years old, moving to Walla Walla at that time from Elk. He was a member of the Walla Walla University Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Jim is survived by two daughters, Carolyn Janke of Milton-Freewater and Marolyn Wagner of Walla Walla; his son, Jim Eiseman Jr. of Milton-Freewater; six grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, one of whom is Tom Mannen of Riverside, Calif., who was like a son to Jim and Lela. He was preceded in death by his wife on March 16, 2006; three sisters, Ruth Laurence-Berry, Dorothy Wilson and Barbara Unterseher; and two brothers, Paul Eiseman and Beryl Eiseman.
There will be a family gathering in the summer to celebrate Jim’s life. Inurnment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Gem State Adventist Academy Worthy Student Fund or Walla Walla University Worthy Student Fund or Student Missions through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Family and friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at mountainview-colonialdewitt.com.