Cover photo for Dr.Richard Joseph Nijem, Md.'s Obituary
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Dr.Richard Joseph Nijem, Md.

December 9, 1947 — May 26, 2015

Richard Joseph Nijem, M. D., 67, of Valdosta died Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at his home. He was born in Valdosta on December 9, 1947 to the late Fred Joseph and Josephine Demetree Nijem. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and served for two years in the United States Air Force as Captain. Dr. Nijem graduated in 1965 from Valdosta High School, Valdosta State College in 1968 and the Medical College of Georgia in 1972. He served on staff at the Medical College of Georgia from 1975-1977. Dr. Nijem began his private practice in Cardiology and Internal Medicine in Valdosta in 1979 until his retirement in 2013. One of his proudest achievements as a doctor was the foundation of the Cardiac Catherization Lab at South Georgia Medical Center in 1982 and the Cardiac Rehab Center. He served as Chief of Staff at South Georgia Medical Center in 1986 and various other committees at South Georgia Medical Center. Dr. Nijem served as Vice President of the American Heart Association from 1986-1987 and on the Board of Directors of Park Avenue Bank from 1989-2011. He loved to hunt, fish and spend time with his family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Claudia Chase Nijem of Valdosta; his three children, April Nijem Scruggs (Ferrell), Thomas Joseph Nijem (Debbie), Alyson Nijem Lerstang (Kim) all of Valdosta; his grandchildren, Caroline Scruggs, Maggie Scruggs, Sara Scruggs, Clare Nijem, Ansley Nijem, Talley Lerstang and Jack Lerstang; his brother, Monsignor Fred J. Nijem of Warner Robins, GA; numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins; his mother in law, Virginia Rose Chase of Tallahassee, FL; brothers in law and sisters in law, Dan Chase (Sandra), Steve Chase (Kaye); sisters in law and brothers in law, Mary Lackey (Jerry) and Susan Chase all of Tallahassee, FL. The family wishes to express their appreciation to Anthony Foster and Riley Reynolds as Dr. Nijem's caregivers during his illness. He was preceded in death by a brother, William C. (Billy) Nijem, MD.
Funeral Mass will be held at 11am, Saturday, May 30, 2015 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church with Monsignor Fred Nijem and Father Brian LaBurt officiating. A private family entombment will be held at McLane Riverview Memorial Gardens. A rosary will be held at 6pm, Friday, May 29, 2015 at the Carson McLane Funeral Home with visitation following until 8:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 800 Gornto Road, Valdosta, GA 31602, Valwood School, 4380 Old US Hwy 41 N, Valdosta, GA 31604 or to the Dasher Heart Center, 2501 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31602. Condolences to the family may be made online at Carson McLane Funeral Home.

Funeral Home:
Carson McLane Funeral Home
2215 North Patterson Street
Valdosta, GA
US 31602

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Friday, May 29, 2015

6:00 - 8:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church

Valdosta, GA 31602

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