John A. Eisterhold Jr. (1941-2000)

Alice-Catherine Carls, February 2001

Professor John A. Eisterhold Jr., 59, died on July 8, 2000, from a heart attack he suffered while playing softball with students. He was in his first year as director of the Tennessee Governor's School for Humanities. Eisterhold received both his BA and MA degrees from Indiana University, and his PhD from the University of Mississippi. In January 1969, he began teaching American Southern history and Asian history at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

"Lumbering in the South" was one of his major research projects. Other research interests included Japanese history, World War II in the Pacific theater, and the American Civil War. In 1972 Eisterhold won the University of Tennessee Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award and the West Tennessee Historical Society Award for the best historical paper. He then took a 25-year break from full time teaching to create the UT at Martin's program for international students. While Dean of International Programs Eisterhold received world-wide recognition for his outstanding leadership in international education.

In the spring of 2000, he received the first Distinguished Service Award from Hirosaki University in Japan for his 25-year-old relationship with that institution. In the spring of 1999, Eisterhold returned to the classroom. During this brief span he was a most valuable and valued colleague among the history and political science faculty. Among the many administrative committees he served on, Eisterhold was the departmental representative on the search committee for the dean's position, College of the Humanities and Fine Arts, in the spring of 2000.

Eisterhold is survived by his wife, Yayoi, and five sons—Jay, Kit, Robbie, and twins James and Nicholas. Memorials may be sent to the John A. Eisterhold Scholarship Fund for International Studies.

—Alice-Catherine Carls
University of Tennessee at Martin