In memoriam

Jim Eason, managing director of North Castle Partners, passed away Sept. 14 at the age of 45.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based buyout firm declined comment, citing the family’s wishes. But Eason had helped North Castle founder Charles Baird form the firm’s first fund, and then signed on at the beginning of fund II in 1998. North Castle focuses on consumer product and services companies in “healthy living and aging.” Eason had worked with such portfolio companies as Red Door Spas, Naked Juice and Octane Fitness.

News of Eason’s death has surprised many private equity market pros—particularly given that the firm last week announced its acquisition of Atkins Nutritionals. “A real shame,” said one investor when informed of the news. “He was a great guy. I was looking forward to reading more about the Atkins deal, but obviously that’s unimportant right now.”

A memorial service for friends and family was held last week in New Canaan, Conn. Eason is survived by his wife Wendy, children Andrew and Emily, father Robert, sisters Jean Reichard, Carol Willersdorf and Beverly Eason, and brothers William and Robert.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Augie’s Quest ( an organization devoted to finding a cure for ALS, often known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The organization was founded by a friend of Eason and his family said that it was an organization close to his heart. —Dan Primack

Donations can be sent to:

C/O: The Muscular Dystrophy Association

Augie’s Quest

1805 E. Garry Ave., Suite 100

Santa Ana, CA 92705.