In Remembrance: James A. Ostheimer ’55 Died on March 16 2021

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James Alfred Ostheimer was born on June 27, 1932, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He passed away on March 16, 2021, following complications sustained from a fall. He was the second child of Alfred J. Ostheimer III and Elizabeth Gray. He is predeceased by Cornelia, his wife of 63 years, who passed away on August 30, 2018; his sister Barbara St. Georges; and brothers Tony Ostheimer and John Ostheimer.  

Jim graduated from Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1951, and from Yale University with a BA in 1955.  He married Cornelia Duffy on June 24, 1955, and together they had four children: Emily Jones (BJ), Martha Ostheimer, Tom Ostheimer (Ronna), and Sarah Trapani (Carl); eight grandchildren: Allison Jones Binkley, Cameron Jones, Perry Ostheimer Polakoff, Erin Ostheimer, Eli Ostheimer, Taylor Buffum, Ben Trapani, and Emma Trapani; and two great-grandchildren: Maren Binkley and Julia Jones. 

Following graduation from Yale, Jim was commissioned into the Air Force where he flew F86D and F89J interceptors. He ended his aviation career in the Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts Air National Guard while continuing to play club lacrosse and raising his young family. 

Jim had a long career in the employee benefits field, working for Ostheimer and Company, Inc. (his father’s business) through its assimilation into Peat Marwick. He established his own employee benefits consulting and executive compensation firm, Ostheimer & Company, in the late 1980s.

Jim loved sports, especially sailing. He was a member of the Pequot Yacht Club and an avid competitor in Atlantics and Solings, and spent many winters frostbiting a Dyer Dhow on Southport Harbor and a Cape Cod Frosty in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Jim discovered cruising later in life and spent numerous days sailing with Cornelia on their Triton on Penobscot Bay. Challenging himself and wanting to accomplish a milestone in his 50th year, he trained for three months and then ran (unofficially) the Boston Marathon.  He was also a devoted Patriots and Red Sox fan. Jim was a devoted spectator at nearly all of Ben and Emma’s cross country and track meets across New England and loved watching Eli play baseball. 

Despite his competitive nature, Jim also had a gentle and sentimental side. He loved animals and always had a canine companion throughout his life. He also wrote poetry as a key member of several groups and published assorted collections in his later years. Many of these poems were written for Cornelia.

The family is planning a Celebration of Life this summer in Maine. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jim’s memory to the First Congregational Church, UCC, 55 Elm Street, Camden, ME 04843; or Rockport Public Library, PO Box 8, Rockport, ME 04856.

—Submitted by the family.

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