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In Memoriam ~ James Nordlund ’57

James Nordlund ’57  
Dr. James Nordlund died at age 82 years on July 24, 2022, after a long battle with cancer. He was born to Lenart and Florence Nordlund in St. Paul, Minnesota, one of five children.  

He went to college at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN and subsequently graduated from medical school at the University of Minnesota in 1965. He spent two years at Duke University training in Internal Medicine. He later completed a residency in Dermatology at Yale University in New Haven, CT. During the Viet Nam War, he was a lieutenant commander in the Public Health Service, stationed at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. He was board certified both in Internal Medicine and Dermatology. After completing his training, Jim joined the faculty in Dermatology at Yale and earned the rank of Professor. In 1983, the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine invited Jim to serve as chairman of the Department of Dermatology, a position he held through 1998. In 1998, he and his beloved wife, Mary, spent a sabbatical year in Moshi, Tanzania, where he worked at the Regional Dermatology Training Center. Soon after their return to the United States, Jim joined Group Health Associates where he practiced until his retirement in 2014.  

Dr. Nordlund’s work focused primarily on disorders of the pigmentary system and their treatments. He was deeply fond of teaching medical students and residents, receiving four teaching awards. He also was a consummate researcher. He was the author of over 350 articles and the senior editor of several books and monographs. He belonged to many professional associations, including the Noah Worcester Society and the International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies, and he served as first President of the PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research (PASPCR). He was invited to speak at many conferences within the United States, Europe and the Far East.  

Dr. Nordlund also loved working with and caring for his patients. He was listed many times as one of the “Best Doctors in America” and “Best Doctors in Cincinnati.” He was named Master of Dermatology by the American Academy of Dermatology in 2011.  

Jim and Mary were married for 53 years and raised three children, Christa, Michael (Lisa Lee) and Margie (Steve Conaway), all of whom live in Cincinnati and cherish the gift of having had such loving and inspiring parents. Jim and Mary were delighted by the expansion of their family, having a terrific daughter-in-law when Mike married Lisa Lee, M.D., and a terrific son-in-law when Margie married Stephen Conaway, Bachelor of Science in Aviation Engineering.   Jim and Mary’s four wonderful grandchildren, Jessica and Michael Nordlund, and Mary Catherine and Sarah Conaway, brought them years of great fun, love and pride. Jim and Mary traveled widely, visiting most of the states, more than 80 countries, and all seven continents, including the Antarctic in 2010. They often were accompanied by their children and grandchildren. They loved opera and theater, and Jim had a passion for art history serving as a docent at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Jim was also a member of the Literary Club of Cincinnati.   His many hobbies included hiking, photography, scuba diving, reading, fishing at the lake, playing ping pong, golf and guitar, and becoming a Sherlock Holmes aficionado.

In addition to his children and grandchildren, Jim is survived by his sisters, Virginia (Bill) Willner, and Mary (Peter) Cermak; his brother, Tom (Candy) Nordlund; and many nephews and nieces.  

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; his oldest sister, Carol Johnson, and his nephew, Kurt Johnson; and his niece, Jennifer Willner. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022, 10:30 AM at Spring Grove Funeral Home (4389 Spring Grove Ave.) where family and friends will be received from 9:30 AM until the time of celebration. Reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice, to the Cincinnati Art Museum, or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Online condolences may be made at