James Lewis was an outstanding gymnast who earned six varsity letters, four in gymnastics and two in track. He was the Dayton City League Champion on the rings event his senior year. Although he was favored to win the state title on the rings, he came down with a virus the night before the event and ended up finishing third. He was a sprinter on the 1963 and 1966 Stivers track team. The 440 relay team was first in the 1966 meet.
Jim performed at numerous Gymkana shows at Memorial Hall and at half time of U.D. basketball games. When Joe Sullivan needed a clown on a unicycle for Gymkana, Jim accepted the challenge and learned to ride the unicycle in a weekend.
Also an outstanding student, Jim was a member of the National Honor Society and salutatorian of his Stivers class of 1966. He was granted a full scholarship to the University of Dayton, where he helped Willie Lalk start the first U.D. gymnastics team and graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Education.
Jim taught at Fairmont East High School for 2 years and was an assistant coach for their gymnastics team when they were State of Ohio Champions in 1971. He decided to further his education and enrolled at Wright State in their Master’s Program which he completed in 18 months with an M.S. in Exercise Physiology with a 4.0 G.P.A.
After teaching anatomy at Wright State for two years, Jim was still challenged “to be all he could be”, deciding to go into the practice of medicine. He graduated summa cum laude from the Ohio State Medical School in 1978, receiving five awards for being the top student in surgery, psychiatry, physiology, opthalmology and the Rusuff Award for high ideals and moral character. While at O.S.U. Jim was the arm wrestling champ in two weight classes.
Most of his working career has been in the E.R. at Lima, St. Rita and Troy Stouder hospitals. Jim and his wife Karen live in Bluffton, Ohio. He has two children, Heather and Todd, by a previous marriage, and four step children.