Oct. 31, 1940 - Sept. 25, 2013
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SOUTH BEND - Sensei James C. Ninios passed away on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, after a long illness. Jim was born on October 31, 1940, in Logansport, IN, to the late Gus and Alexandra Ninios. He is survived by his brother, Phillip, from Clearwater, FL; cousins, George and Mary Kay Mitchell from Oak Forest, IL; and his aunt, Elma Kagin, from Toledo, OH. Jim earned his Business Degree from Indiana University in 1971. Jim had a gift of inspiring everyone he met. His strong Christian faith helped him enormously throughout his daily struggles and his lifelong roadblocks. All who knew Jim loved and respected him for the wonderful person he was. He touched so many lives in various ways. As we mourn Jim's passing, we know that he is with God and has no more pain or sorrow. What remains with us is what Jim taught us, whether through karate or the spiritual gift he embraced. This gift we shall all share and pass on to all we love and care for. Jimmy, we will miss you, we love you, and we thank you for what you have left us. A special thank you to the staff at Hospice House for their care and compassion. A special thank you to his karate buddies who he loved dearly: Tadashi Yamashita, Jerry Wrobleski, John Sorg, and Terry and Debbie Olson. They are true friends forever. Thank you to Father George D. Konstantopoulos, Protopresbyter of St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, in which Jim was a member for several years. Also, a thank you to Pastor Scott Smith of South Side Baptist Church. While serving in the United States Marine Corps in Okinawa, Jim was awarded his Black Belt by Master Eizo Shinabuku Sensei in 1962. Returning to South Bend, he met Tadashi Yamashita and formed Midwest Karate Academy in 1964 which continues today. Jim was Japanese Karate Association Grand Champion for two years. Jim was also American Karate Association Grand Champion. While preparing to defend his championship title in December of 1967 in Los Angeles, he suffered a brain aneurism. Jim fought back and continued to teach until he retired from instruction in 1977. Jim was inducted into the Karate Association Hall of Fame in 1972. He was a true Ambassador for Karate. May his memory be eternal. A Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, September 30, 2013, at the South Side Baptist Church, 1130 E. Jackson Road, South Bend, IN. Pastor Scott Smith will officiate. Military graveside services will follow at Southlawn Cemetery, South Bend. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to services on Monday at the church. Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel, South Bend, is assisting with arrangements. Contributions in memory of James C. Ninios may be donated to the South Side Baptist Church, P.O. Box 2494, South Bend, IN 46680. Online condolences may be offered at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
Published in South Bend Tribune from Sept. 27 to Sept. 28, 2013