Martin Martin Eisele obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Martin Martin Eisele

November 14, 1921 - September 15, 2016

Obituary


“I can’t imagine it.”



What’s that?



“How could anyone be so lucky as to have the life that I’ve had, to be born into this family, to have the family and friends that I’ve had, to have had my career, and to have done all the things that I have done in my life. I don’t know what it is. Fate? Fortune? It seems impossible that it could happen to anyone. It’s hard to believe.”



And yet, that’s been your life.



“Yeah, amazing.”



Dr W. Martin Eisele was born in...

“I can’t imagine it.”



What’s that?



“How could anyone be so lucky as to have the life that I’ve had, to be born into this family, to have the family and friends that I’ve had, to have had my career, and to have done all the things that I have done in my life. I don’t know what it is. Fate? Fortune? It seems impossible that it could happen to anyone. It’s hard to believe.”



And yet, that’s been your life.



“Yeah, amazing.”



Dr W. Martin Eisele was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas November 14, 1921, to Garnett M. Eisele and Mary Martin Eisele, and died September 14 at the age of 94. He attended St John's Elementary School and graduated in 1939 from Hot Springs High School where he was a cheerleader, 2 time ping pong champion, photographer for the Old Gold Book and a member of the golf team. He attended the University of Florida intending to study pharmacy in order to return to Hot Springs to join his father and grandfather’s drug store businesses. At the suggestion of Dr Clay Chenault and his upon father’s advice, he changed his focus to pre-medicine and later graduated from the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1945.



He was commissioned an officer in the Army Medical Corps and served both at home and overseas. He was assigned to the Army Navy Hospital in Hot Springs, where he could walk from his parents’ house, then on Quapaw Avenue, to his duty station downtown. The Army soon realized this arrangement might be a bit too cushy, so Dr Eisele was given what the Army considered a less comfortable assignment, heading up the orthopedics department at Tripler Hospital at Fort Shaster in Honolulu, Hawaii, which had its own golf course. He claimed it was a most difficult assignment.



Following his military service, Dr Eisele continued his medical training as a surgical resident in St Louis, where he met Patricia Anne Quinn, an anesthetist and RN. They married in Miss Quinn’s home town of Sedalia, Missouri in 1951. Their wedding announcement was published on the sports page of the local paper because Stan Musial, star of the St Louis Cardinals baseball team and a close friend of the bride-groom, attended the wedding. From there the couple moved to New York City, where Dr Eisele pursued a residency in cancer surgery at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital and Mrs. Eisele worked as an RN at New York Roosevelt Hospital. They returned to Hot Springs where Dr Eisele went into private practice with Dr Frank Burton, later establishing the Burton-Eisele Clinic on Whittington Avenue.



His passion for the practice of medicine was far exceeded by his care and empathy for his patients and his drive to do all he could for the betterment of his home town of Hot Springs. He was one of the first board certified surgeons in the state of Arkansas. Among the positions he held in the medical profession were: president of the Arkansas Division of the American Cancer Society, president of the Garland County Medical Society, member of the Arkansas Medical Society and the American Medical Society, diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and director of the American Cancer Society.





On the civic front, Dr Eisele served as president of the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, president of Forty (and Fifty) for the Future, a committee to promote HS and its development, and was instrumental in promoting a new Hot Springs Community College. He was president of Southern Homes, Inc., a director of First National Bank of Hot Springs, a director of the Arkansas Arts Center and a commissioner of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission. He was a member of the Arkansas Young Republicans League (which brought then VP Richard Nixon to speak in HS in 1965), and a silent partner in the Vapors Casino and Theater. He was also a trustee of the Mid-America Science Museum and a charter member of “Friends of the Museum” to promote the museum’s establishment and build an endowment to insure its future.



Beside his devotion to the civic and physical wellbeing of Hot Springs and Arkansas, Dr Eisele had a never ending curiosity to see the world in its entirety. He has literally been from the North Pole to the South Pole and everywhere in between. The family used to joke that he and Pat would wait for a big country to break up into smaller countries so that they would have a new place to go. He was on the first non-diplomatic group trip into the newly opened Communist China, and his last trip was to Libya. Still, of all the places he has been, his favorite place was home in Hot Springs.



He was an avid sailor, pilot, hunter, photographer. As a teenager at the summer program at Culver Military Academy in Indiana he won awards for seamanship, sharpshooting, crew and track. An avid (understatement) golfer, he was a member of the PGA Hole in One Club, and a lifetime member of both the Hot Springs and Belvedere Country Clubs.



He loved a corny joke. On one occasion he prescribed a daily medication to one of his patients. The patient went home to his wife and said, ”Dr. Eisele said I have to take a pill everyday for the rest of my life. When his wife responded that taking a pill everyday for the rest of your life wasn’t that bad, the patient said, “Well, Dr Eisele only gave me four pills”.



Upon retirement from his medical practice he studied and became certified as a Master Gardener. He was instrumental in the establishment of Garvin Woodland Gardens. He won blue ribbons for his famous pepper jelly. He established a scholarship for nursing students at National Park College, served on the board of the Hot Springs Community Foundation, and was a charter member of the Garland County Historical Society. He was for too many years to count a member of the Burger King Coffee Club. Those he considers cherished friends are too numerous to count. Even in his 90’s he never lost the zest for life, frequenting local restaurants with a pretty woman for a good meal and a stiff drink. Even after his golfing days were over, he frequented what is now the “Ebel-Eisele” card room a the Hot Springs Country Club with his best friend for over 90 years.



Dr Eisele is pre-deceased by his wife of 54 years, Patricia Q Eisele. He is survived by his brother, Federal Judge G. Thomas Eisele of Little Rock, two sons, William Martin Eisele, Jr., of Little Rock and Thomas Martin Eisele of New York, daughter-in-law Evelyne Elie-Eisele and grandson Logan Eisele.



Pallbearers will be John Haggard, Joseph Howe, James Burton, Gene Brooks, Barney Bond, Tom French, Bart Newman, Don Munro, Clay Farrar and Skip Ebel. Honorary pallbearers will be, John Brunner, James French, Ed French, David French, John French, and President Bill Clinton.



The family plans a special fundraising celebration of his life to continue his legacy of giving to the community, which will be announced in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dr Eisele are requested to National Park College Foundation/Martin Eisele Nursing Scholarship; Garvan Woodland Gardens; Hot Springs Community Foundation; and Guardian Angels Cat Club.