James Rufus Trimble

james trimble

James Rufus Trimble, fondly known as “Papa Jim” by family and friends, passed away on August 12, 2021 leaving behind a legacy of dedication to his family and the medical profession. Jim was born January 4, 1923 in Montclair, NJ, the second son of Henry Weeks Trimble and Laura Lyman Trimble. Jim went to Andover Academy and graduated cum laude from Princeton University in the class of 1945 where he focused on premedical studies, was a member of the Quadrangle Club, and joined the Army Medical Corps.

While attending Columbia University Medical School, Jim met a nursing student, Margaret Ann Bell. He won her hand with some sweet talk and a box of chocolates on the surgery ward at Presbyterian Hospital. They married in 1947 in Portland, OR, during his internship.

Jim returned to Columbia to study dermatology and begin his PhD in mycology. During the Korean War he served in the Army Medical Corp at the Army Chemical Center in Washington, D.C. and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Colorado. Jim then taught in the Department of Dermatology at Duke University. Jim and Peggy moved to Jacksonville, FL, in 1952 to establish a private practice in dermatology and serve as the chief of dermatology at the Methodist Hospital.

Jim was a pioneer in the emerging field of dermatologic surgery. He published numerous medical journal articles, taught residents at the Duval County Medical Center, taught surgical dermatology at the American Academy of Dermatology conferences and workshops, and contributed to two medical textbooks on surgical dermatology. Jim was a founding member and served on the Board as well of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the Florida Society of Dermatologic Surgeons, and the North American Clinical Dermatology Society. His son, Jay, joined his practice in 1982.

Jim and Peggy were inseparable and enjoyed many years of travel together with a special affection for the beach and the North Carolina mountains. They were active members of the St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Ortega and Timuquana Country Club. Jim enjoyed sailing, boating, and swimming at Jacksonville Beach, the “best beach in the world”. He was also an avid runner which was called “jogging” in his day. After 40 years of dermatology practice, Jim retired and moved with Peggy to Atlanta.

Jim was preceded in death by Peggy, the love of his life for 71 years, in December 2018. Jim was also predeceased by his parents and his brothers, Henry Weeks Trimble, Jr. and David Lyman Trimble. He is survived by his three children, James William Trimble, MD,(Mary Jane), Bonnie Trimble Copeland (Wade), and Thomas Bell Trimble (Shelly); and eight grandchildren, Jennie Trimble Busey (Brooks), James Scott Trimble, MD, (Amanda), Sarah Jo Trimble Luby, DVM, (Kyle), Kate Copeland Shem (Ray), Victor Thomas Copeland MD (Caroline), Kyle Copeland Rapp (Alex ), Courtney Anne Trimble, and Allison Foerster Trimble; and 13 great grandchildren. The family gives special thanks to Evelyn Brown and Kay Abernathy for the loving care they provided to Papa Jim through the years.

A memorial service honoring Jim’s life will be held on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 11:00 AM at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 4275 Herschel St., Jacksonville, FL 32210. A reception will follow the service in Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John’s Presbyterian Church.

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