Remembering Dr. Jim Tumblin
By Mike Steely
Knoxville and Fountain City have lost a great historian, storyteller, local author and fine man. Dr. J. C. (Jim) Tumblin died last week, leaving behind a number of important local books and loving memories by all who knew him.
Tumblin was a walking library of Fountain City history. He was quick to respond to questions with a story and wry humor. He often credited the origin of his love of history to his alma mater, Central High School. As a long-time member and rock-steady advisor to the Fountain City Town Hall, Jim received many public recognitions over the years for his contributions to the community.
He was a retired optometrist and a longtime resident of East Kesterwood Drive before moving to a retirement community. His many books and articles about the people of early Fountain City, Knoxville and Knox County are prized among history buffs and local researchers.
The Tumblin family will receive friends on Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. with funeral services following at Northside Christian Church, 4208 Tazewell Pike. Family and friends will also gather on Wednesday at 10:45 at Lynnhurst Cemetery for an 11 a.m. graveside service; Gentry Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge.
Dr. Tumblin was a ready source of information for many Knoxville Focus stories and an inspiration for many in our area. He was a valuable part of the community and a friendly and wise person who will be missed.