Ke-Yi Jim "Jimmy"
| HSIEH, Ke-Yi "Jim"The fourth child of Haoling and Janie
Lee born on June 2, 1944 in Chongqing, China, died unexpectedly on
January 24, 2008, at home in Franklin, TN. He was a resident of
Nashville and Williamson County for over 37 years with deep roots.
His friends were everywhere. Jim is preceded in death by his
parents; son, Erich R. "Yobi" Hsieh from former wife
Barbara Ramsey. He is survived by sons, Brent and Loren Hsieh from
first wife Carolyn Hall; sisters, Nancy Kuo of West Lafayette, IN
and Lucy Yuan of Palo Alto, CA; brother, Johnny Hsieh of Tucson, AZ.
Jim had a successful career as an independent commercial artist and
illustrator, and was committed to teaching in Adult Literacy
Programs. His joyful response to life through his art, music, humor,
love of children, food, and service to others in different stations
of life, have touched many and will stay with us. A memorial
gathering to celebrate Jim's life will be 2 p.m., Saturday, February
2, 2008 at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, 4800 Belmont Park
Terrace, Nashville Rev. Randy Hoover-Dempsey officiating. Rev. Will
Campbell will provide a remembrance. Bring your families, children,
pictures, stories and music. View Jim's work and life at www.gemihsieh.com.
February 10, 2008 by jh44
Jim’s family would like to gather information about his body of
work in preparation for a future retrospective exhibit. If you own
some of Jim’s artwork, please send your contact information and
any information about your piece(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we
will write you back.
February 8, 2008 by jh44
Click the link below to read the article.
Memorial is today for Franklin artist
People who knew Ke-Yi "Jim" Hsieh of Franklin say he
was a true Renaissance man — a well known commercial
illustrator, a one-time Ball State University art instructor,
singer, instrument maker, and deeply respected community
Many of his friends first learned of the 63-year-old runner's
Jan. 24 death from a heart attack when a friend updated his blog,
said long-time friend Steve Meinbresse.
"He lived so many disparate lives…," said
Meinbresse. "Since his death, those circles of friends have
come together to try and plan something special to celebrate his
He designed George W. Bush's presidential re-election campaign
letterhead and played a key role in the look and design of several
retail stores, including Boot Country.
"I am preparing a handout for the service, hand-stamping
500," said Brad Whitfield, owner of Whitfield Art Agency and
a friend and colleague of Hsieh for more than 35 years. "And
I wouldn't be at all surprised if that many showed up. Jim will be
In 1948, Hsieh's family was forced to flee mainland China for
Taiwan because of political upheaval, according to a biography
written by Hsieh's brother. In Taiwan, the 7-year-old Hsieh's
artwork was rejected from a competition because the judges did not
believe a child could produce the work submitted.
He wanted to sing
By the late 1960s, Hsieh was teaching art at Indiana's Ball
State University. In the early 1970s, he moved to Nashville. Hsieh
wanted to sing.
"He was a fine musician in his own right. And I'm sure
you've heard that he could do an uncanny Elvis and Johnny
Mathis," said the Rev. Will Campbell, a long-time friend and
collector of Hsieh's fine art. "But you know if you live
around Nashville, you basically have to learn three chords to get
a driver's license. So sometimes he and I would do shows at some
of the dives."
It was around that time that Hsieh and Whitfield began their
more than 30-year design collaboration. Together, the men designed
the fixtures, the furniture, and overall look of Johnston &
Murphy, Lucchese Boot Co. and other stores, said Whitfield.
"He walked into my office … with the rattiest-looking
portfolio bag you ever saw," Whitfield said. "But when I
saw his work, his incredible work, that's the moment professional
In recent years, Hsieh dedicated much of his time to volunteer
work teaching recent immigrants English and math and GED courses
at Williamson County jail.
A memorial will be at 2 p.m. today in St. Bartholomew's
Episcopal Church, 4800 Belmont Park Terrace in Nashville. In lieu
of flowers, donations can be made to the Literary Council of
Williamson County or the Friends of Radnor Lake.
Update - Johnny mentioned that it was the presidential inaugural
letterhead that Jim drew, not a re-election campaign letterhead as
stated in the article.
January 29, 2008 by jh44
memorial gathering to celebrate Jim Hsieh’s life will be held,
Saturday, February 2, 2008, 2PM, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal
Church, 4800 Belmont Park Terrace, Nashville, TN. Families with
children, pictures, stories and live music welcome. In lieu of
flowers, donations can be made to the Literary Council of Williamson
County, Franklin, TN. Contact Rita Dozier at 472-5010.
UPDATE - There has been some confusion about the time of the
memorial. The time is definitely 2pm. And children are definitely
welcomed and encouraged.
Also - checks can be sent directly to the Literacy Council at:
The Literacy Council
129 W Fowlkes, suite 143
Franklin TN 37064
2nd UPDATE - Inadvertently omitted from the initial post - In
lieu of flowers, donations can also be made to Radnor Lake. By
including Jim’s name the family will be notified of the gift. Make
checks payable to:
Friends of Radnor Lake
P.O. Box 40324
Nashville, TN 37204
January 28, 2008 by jh44
It is with deep sadness that I report that my friend Jim Hsieh
passed on this week. Jim died suddenly, at home in Williamson
County, and apparently without suffering.
Jim’s family and friends are developing a memorial service. The
tentative date is Saturday February 2, 2008.
I have taken over this blog of Jim’s to use it as a information
source for the memorial service and as a tribute to Jim. We are
gathering images, music, and memories to post here and to include in
the memorial gathering. Please send anything you would like to share
to email@example.com or post comments to this blog.
Update - I have begun adding photos and images to a
FriendsOfJimHsieh flickr account. You can click on the
images Drawings, Paintings, and Photos link on the
right of this page to view all the sets. Please add comments to the
images if you like. Images are kept in sets according to the source.
Memories and Memorials
Please leave your memories of Jim as comments to this page. Two of
Jim’s high school friends left comments on here
before this page was available. Others left their thoughts on Jim’s
first post here.
Update: Jim’s brother Johnny has written “A Brief Sketch
of Jim Hsieh’s Life, 1944-2008″. Read it here: jim.pdf