Stowers Funeral Home

401 West Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL


James "Jim" Earl McCormick

April 21, 1938June 20, 2020

James (Jim) Earl McCormick died 20th of June 2020 in a nursing home near his ski school and family home in Seffner, Florida after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born on 21st April 1938 in Kansas City, Missouri to Earl and Lorraine McCormick. Few know he had a Bachelor of Science Degree, a Masters in Economics and a Degree in Portuguese. He paid for his schooling by opening a successful ski school on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. He also worked as a show skier at nights while competing and going to school. He married Myra Kerwin and they went on to raise four sons, all with a love of skiing. Eventually Jim’s passion for skiing lead him to open a ski school in Florida so that he could train and coach year round.

Jim was a dreamer and innovator. His dream was to build the first manmade ski lakes. They were to be perfect ski lakes, custom built to attract skiers from all over the world to train and compete. His plan included a cable ski park on the lakes. He worked with the strength and determination of 10 men to build McCormick Ski School and Cable Park, a lifelong dream come to fruition. Jim was one of the most sought after coaches in the world and could always be seen on shore or in the boat in his trademark red jumpsuit and cowboy hat. He coached many world champions. Skiers came from all over the world for a chance to train at McCormick’s Ski School and be coached by the legend. He was inducted into the Waterski Hall of Fame with an Award of Distinction in 1997 and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for his groundbreaking contributions to waterskiing.

Jim had a larger than life personality. He was known for his “unique” blend of joke playing and humor. Jim was a devoted father to his sons, a surrogate father to his many students, a friend, a mentor, a coach, a husband, an innovator, a pioneer. Jim, you will be forever missed but never forgotten.

Predeceased by his son Jimmy McCormick. Survived by his three sons Michael (Jaime), Patrick(Jenny) and Daniel(Jennifer) McCormick, his grandchildren Isaac, Julia, Victory, Thorn, Seren, Kiean, Levi, and step grandchildren Skylar, Michael & Luke. Will also be dearly missed by his brothers Terry and Rick(Susi) McCormick, his niece, three nephews and many great nephews and nieces. Cremation has taken place.

Arrangements entrusted to Stowers Funeral Home. His family will have a private service at his home in Seffner, FL 10th July, 2020. Celebration of Life to be scheduled for April 21, 2021.


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James "Jim" Earl McCormick

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ronnie, Kim Miller

July 8, 2020

Always great times with Jim.
I'm So glad we got to meet and talk with Jim in his Fabulas Empire.

Dave Dunklee

July 8, 2020

Watching Jim drive that ski-lesson boat with the boom, seeing his invention(s) of plastic nose covers hooked to sunglasses and lots of zinc oxide got my attention! His pilot skills at the wheel of the Hydrodyne keeping a straight line and adding just enough throttle for championship slalom, or cutting to the ski jump was top notch, leading to his family members world championships. Happy remembrance and my heart goes out to Jim and all the family.
Sincerely, Dave Dunklee

Park Miller

July 8, 2020

Jim McCormick taught me to waterski in 1955 during the intermission of a night ski show at the lake of the Ozarks.
(The Ozark Water Ski Thrill Show) I still have the pair skis my father bought me that night, Hydro flight junior champions. In the mid 60s I went to the Jim McCormick Ski School to learn to be a better skier.
That’s where I learned the three disciplines of slalom/trick and jump, Jim also taught me to be a good boat driver. (Safety First)

Our lake cabin was close to the McCormicks household of Earl and Lorraine, Jim /Terry and Ricky. The McCormicks made me feel like family that’s just the way the McCormicks are. I was able to drive several summers for Jim at his ski school. During those summers Ricky and I became friends, which has lasted to this day.
Some of my fondest life experiences and memories are of Water Skiing. I’m still skiing and having fun today because of Jim.
I was honored to be at Jim’s induction for his award of distinction in 1997.
Jim McCormick was a Champion/ Pioneer/Innovator /Great coach/Father and friend. His kindness and sense of humor will always be remembered.

Park Miller