James C. Pirius, of Alexandria, VA, a globetrotting Redwing, MN, native, figure-skating enthusiast and retired education lobbyist, died on June 16, 2020, at his winter home in Bonita Springs, FL. The embodiment of “Midwest Nice,’’ Jim was 73.
Eric Nerf, his loving partner of 29 years, survives, as do brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ronald and Jane Nerf, nieces and nephew Katelyn, Mitchell, Amy and Allyson Nerf and godchildren Spencer, Trevor, and Anastasia Blankley, Andrew Friberg and Colleen Brady-Lindstrom.
Jim’s late parents, Clifford and Margery Pirius, raised him and his late sister, Carol Ann, to love the ice. Jim was always seeking friends to watch competitive skating and ice dancing with him on TV or at the rink. He brought that same passion to golf.
Jim was generous, hardworking, optimistic and gregarious. His friendships spanned decades and continents. Wherever he went, Jim radiated warmth, good cheer, and a love of life, which instantly drew people to him.
Jim graduated from the University of MN, where he majored in Political Science and Journalism. In 1977, Jim moved to Washington, DC, where he worked for Rep. Bruce F. Vento (D-MN), served as President Carter’s first Director of Legislative Policy for the U.S. Department of Education, advocated for higher education clients at APCO Worldwide, then established his own federal relations firm, JCP Associates.
Jim often said that he had been privileged to live a wonderful life. We who knew and loved Jim were privileged to have him in our lives for so long.