James Jasper Lorimer, age 96, of Worthington Ohio, passed away on November 24, 2022. Born October 7, 1926, in Bristol, Pa. to Frank Duffield Lorimer and Mildred Harbison Lorimer. Raised in Morrisville, Pa. he was a multi-sport athlete who entered the U.S. Navy in World War II. Returning to attend Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., he later graduated from the Dickerson School of Law in Carlisle, Pa. Following law school, he became a Special Agent of the FBI, working in the Intelligence field. After assignments in three different FBI field offices, he moved to the private sector joining Nationwide Insurance for a 37-year career in Nationwide’s office of Government Relations where he served as Vice President. He also founded Nationwide’s Corporate Fitness Center which was the first such large corporate facility. For 52 years Jim’s civic pursuits included serving as Mayor, City Councilman and Vice Mayor of Worthington, Ohio. As keynote speaker for Worthington and Morrisville Bicentennials, officiating weddings and countless award presentations to Worthington state athletic champions, Jim earned the reputation as Poet Laureate. He was an early Title IX advocate for equal rights for women’s sports. During the 1960s he founded the Ohio Track Club Girls Team that won National Championships and he served as Secretary and Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee for Women’s Track & Field. He presented two National Championships in track and field in Columbus and managed the U.S. Team in several international competitions.
In 1967 he Chaired the World Weightlifting Championship in Columbus, which was followed by promoting Mr. World and Mr. Olympia body-building contest here. At the 1970 event, he invited and later formed a sports promotion partnership with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their handshake agreement led to the establishment of the largest multi-sport event in the world, the Arnold Sports Festival, that is now held annually in Columbus and has extended to sports festivals on five continents. During the 1970s, Jim began teaching on behalf of the insurance industry’s Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) degree – a leading professional certification in the insurance field. He co-authored the legal text in that national educational program. At the same time, he served as an Adjunct Professor at Capital Law School for its course in insurance law. Jim Lorimer was preceded in death by his wife Jean Whittaker Lorimer in May 2021. Jean was his high school sweetheart from Morrisville, who winked at him at a Halloween party to begin their 80 years together. He was the football captain and she was his lifelong cheer leader. Their love and lives were blessed and enriched by their children Kathy Jane Nagle (Paul), James Jeffrey Lorimer (Jeanne) and Robert Craig Lorimer (Tammy), grandchildren Jason Lorimer (Carrie), Karen Nagle, Jessica Lorimer, Bobby Nagle (Lindy) and six great grandchildren – Jayden, Jake, Ruby, Ellie, Hazel, and Kinsley. Jim believed “You get back from every aspect of life in direct proportion to what you put into it.”
A website has been created at JimLorimerTribute.com to share more of Jim’s story. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorial contributions to be made to The City of Worthington honoring and remembering the exceptional life of James J. Lorimer. Designated donations will go towards continuing Jim’s legacy of community service and impacting the future of our youth through physical fitness, sports, parks & recreational enrichment activities. Memorial contributions should be made to The City of Worthington, referencing James J. Lorimer. Mail or drop off check donations to 6550 N. High Street, c/o Finance Department Worthington, Ohio 43085 or by visiting www.worthington.org/lorimerdonations