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James Edward  Westheider II

James Edward Westheider II

Born 1956-08-21
Died 2020-09-25

James E. Westheider died at his home in Batavia, Ohio, on September 25 after a long illness. Jim was born on August 21, 1956, on Cincinnati’s West Side where his father Jay was a firefighter and his mother Ruth a homemaker, who was also active in Democratic politics. He attended the University of Cincinnati where he earned his BA, MA, and PhD in History. Jim taught History at Northern Kentucky University and in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Evening and Continuing Education before joining the faculty at the University of Cincinnati’s Clermont College in 1998, where he was awarded tenure in 2004. He served several terms as a department head, and was active in the local AAUP chapter, twice serving on the Faculty Contract negotiating team. Jim’s first book, Fighting on Two Fronts: African Americans and the Vietnam War (1997) redefined the significance of the war to the Civil Rights movement. His other publications included The African American Experience in Vietnam: Brothers in Arms (2007) and Fighting in Vietnam: The Experience of the U.S. Soldier (2007). Acknowledged for his expertise in the field, Jim gave lectures to both academic and public audiences in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to his research, Jim’s passion was teaching, and his classes on U.S. History, the History of Civil Rights, and the Vietnam War were always in demand. Many students, inspired by Jim, went on to excel in the field. Jim was also an avid music fan. He loved listening to his favorite bands and carried many memories of playing bass in the band, Warlock. He is survived by his beloved wife, Virginia, step-daughters Laura Elkins and Shelley Elkins, an older sister Sandy and his younger brother Dave. He was much-loved by his many friends and colleagues, and by his pets Rocky and Max. Jim will be inurned at Spring Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Social Sciences Scholarship fund at Clermont College. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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