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Dr. Jim C KizziarApril 19, 1938 ~ November 3, 2017 (age 79)
Dr. Jim C. Kizziar passed away at the Circle of Life Hospice Center in Bentonville, Arkansas on Friday, November 3, 2017. The family will hold a memorial service at 11:00AM, Friday, November 10, 2017 at Immanuel Baptist Church, 501 N Shackleford Rd, Little Rock, Ark. In recognition of his service in the Arkansas Air National Guard, he will be buried with full military honors at the National Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas at a date to be determined.
Jim was born on April 19, 1938 in Clovis, New Mexico to Guy Kizziar, Sr. and Florence (nee, Main) Kizziar. He grew up in Fort Smith, where he and his siblings had a childhood that Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn would have envied. It was here that he found the first great passion of his life – guns. He and his brothers had a well-earned reputation for shooting any and all things that needed shooting, and a few things that didn’t. He started a gun and knife collection as a young man that was a great source of enjoyment for him for the rest of his life.
Jim graduated from Fort Smith High School in 1956. During his senior year, he enlisted in the Arkansas Air National Guard (ANG), which began the second of his lifelong passions – airplanes and flying. He started college shortly after high school, but was called to active duty three times over the next seven years (for the Little Rock High School Integration Crisis, the Berlin Wall Crisis, and the Cuban Missile Crisis). This delayed him completing college until 1963, when he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. He remained a proud alumnus and passionate Razorback fan to his dying days.
Later in 1963, Jim left the ANG and continued his education at Tulane University, earning a Master’s degree in biochemistry. In 1965, he started medical school at UAMS in Little Rock, graduating in 1969. Afterwards, he continued training to specialize in internal medicine and cardiology. He then served as an assistant professor at UAMS from 1973-75.
In 1978, Jim re-entered the ANG, qualified as a flight surgeon, and served in that capacity for the next 15 years, during which time he was called up one last time for Desert Shield/Storm. He retired from the Arkansas ANG in 1993 at the rank of Colonel.
Jim entered private practice as a general cardiologist at the Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic in 1975, and joined the Cardiology Consultants practice in Little Rock in 1985. Along with his partner, Dr. Steve Hutchins, Jim started the heart transplant program at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock, where the first heart transplant in Arkansas was performed in 1989. Jim retired from Cardiology Consultants in 2005, and continued to practice medicine part-time with the heart transplant program at Baptist Health for several years thereafter. He was a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Guy Kizziar, Jr. of Fort Smith, and a granddaughter, Lydia Kizziar of Carrollton, TX.
He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Betty Kizziar of Bentonville, stepson, Michael (Lisa) Holmes and their son Owen, also of Bentonville; a son, Max (Diane) Kizziar, of Carrollton, TX; grandchildren, Emily (Triston) Perry of Paris, TX, Ryan Kizziar, Abigail Kizziar, and Kathleen Kizziar, all of Carrollton; and a daughter, Holly Kizziar, of Carrollton. He is also survived by a sister, Gail Moody, of Garland, TX; a brother, Harley (Kathy) Kizziar of Katy, TX, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.
The family expresses our deep gratitude to Bobby and Nancy Fitts of Little Rock, the Clarity Pointe Memory Care facilities in both Little Rock and Fayetteville, and the Circle of Life Hospice Home at Legacy Village in Bentonville for making Jim’s last days comfortable. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Circle of Life Hospice at Legacy Village, 1201 NE Legacy Parkway, Bentonville, Ark. 72712
Arrangements have been entrusted to Stockdale-Moody Funeral Services of Rogers. Words of comfort or memories may be shared at Stockdale-Moodyfs.com
Circle of Life Legacy Village
1201 NE Legacy Parkway, Bentonville AR 72712