Alumni News

October 20, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Notable Alumni | James Parobek: A Life of Law and Influence in Lorain

By Regina Yoong

Graphic for College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Award

Editor’s Note: The College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Awards honor alumni for broad career accomplishments, commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to Ohio University and the College of Arts & Sciences.

James Parobek ’51 Government

James S. Parobek keeps a scrapbook of photos and newspaper cuttings that tell the tale of a lawyer and politician who gave his all to his hometown. And he also gave a legacy of three more Bobcats to Ohio University.

Parobek, now 90 years old, was born in Lorain, Ohio, on Feb. 28, 1929.

He came to Athens to attend Ohio University in 1946, but three weeks into school, he received news that his father had passed away. Parobek dropped out of OHIO and returned to Lorain to help take care of family and manage a store the family owned.

The next semester, he returned to OHIO and joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). At school, Parobek was part of Eta Sigma Phi, the honorary society for classical studies, and Phi Delta Epsilon Legal Fraternity.

James Parobek with President John F. Kennedy

James Parobek with President John F. Kennedy

OHIO Legacy

Parobek earned a bachelor’s in Government (now Political Science) from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University, followed by a law degree at Ohio State University.

Hr reminiscences about Ohio, “Green is the spring time, white is the winter snow—colors that I adore, My Ohio!”

Parobek’s two sons, James Jr. and Brad, followed his footsteps to Athens and graduated from Ohio University, as did a grandson, Drew.

Brad Parobek, portrait

Brad Parobek

In 2018, Brad Parobek ’87 was named Senior Vice President Sales America for Friend MTS, where he heads up operations in North and South America to drive overall strategy and growth. Brad has more than three decades of experience working within complex environments such as cable and IT telecommunications, broadcasters’ network infrastructures, cloud and device sectors. Friend MTS protects content and revenues for many of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies.

At OHIO, Brad was who a cheerleader, homecoming king and member of Beta Theta Pi. He earned a B.A. in Business Pre-Law from the College of Arts & Sciences.

James S Parobek, Jr., portrait

James S. Parobek, Jr.

James “Jim” Parobek Jr. ’87 was named Executive Vice President and Southeast Zone Operations Leader for Texas Health Resources in March 2019. He is responsible for helping to improve the health and well-being of the residents of Texas Health Resources’ Southeast Zone. He works in collaboration with clinical partners, communities, physicians and clinicians to create healthier lives for North Texans. He previously served as Texas Health’s first executive vice president of Physician Enterprise and has worked in healthcare administration since 1994. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from the College of Health Science and Professions at OHIO.

Andrew Parobek, portrait

Andrew Parobek

Grandson Andrew Parobek ’11 graduated with an English degree and history minor from the College of Arts & Sciences. He was a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Fraternity.

James Parobek at banquet

James Parobek at banquet

A Love for Law and Sports

During his illustrious career, Parobek was Lorain’s President of Council, where he promulgated new rules for council and created the federal program committee. He served two terms as councilman and was finance chairman. For 10 years, he served as Lorain’s prosecutor and assistant city solicitor.

As a practicing lawyer, he was a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and Lorain County Bar Association and co-chaired the first law day in the county. His pro bono activities include being attorney for the citizens annexation committee, then the largest annexation attempt in the state, which had goals of annexing 2100 acres of townships to the city of Lorain. He was chairman for several years of the American Citizenship committee for services and welcoming of newly naturalized citizens.

Furthermore, Parobek was the organizer and first president of Lorain High Boosters Club and Co-Chairman of the Testimonial Banquet for George Daniel, Lorain’s no. 1 sports figure for over half a century. At the banquet, Parobek told Daniels that he was starting the “Danny” award to honor athletes excelling in sports and academics. It was a star-studded event with Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Judge Carl Victor Weygandt, and Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Dodgers Owner as attendees.

Parobek was also an avid sports enthusiast, he enjoyed golfing with his sons on the east and west coasts. He was honored with a once in a lifetime achievement “Hole in One on A Par Four Hole” in the Maggie Valley course in North Carolina, which he was recognized in the 8/8/88 issue of Sports Illustrated.

James Parobek, profile

James Parobek

Parobek’s Heart for the Community

An active participant in the communities he lived in, Parobek was also a Freemason. His masonic affiliation included being a master mason, along with Scottish rite and York rites. He was the president of the Lorain Masonic Temple Company. He was the Ambassador Emeritus in the “Al Koran” Shriners and headed the effort for the affiliation to be involved in Lorain’s International Festival Parade. He served as president of Lorain County Shrine Club and for 25 years was president of Lorain County Shrine Luncheon Club for 25 years.

Parobek was also the organizer and chapter president of Lorain’s Toastmasters Club, where more than 200 Lorainites enjoyed their training experiences. He was also president of the Lorain Jaycees when they doubled its membership and added locals in Sheffield Lake and Avon Lake. Due to this feat, Parobek was nationally recognized by the Jaycees and awarded lifetime membership by the Junior Chamber International.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *