Final Passages

James L. “Jim” Lubeck, 87

February 15, 2018 at 12:00 am

Fairfield, Conn. Jim Lubeck died on Thursday, Feb. 15, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. A proud Wisconsin native, Jim’s successful 40-plus-year sales career with the E.I. Du Pont De Nemours Company brought him to California where he met and married his wife, Myra (Stead) Lubeck, with whom he shared 53 years of marriage. Jim’s work with DuPont would eventually lead him to the East Coast, first to Marblehead, Mass., then onto Rumson, N.Y., and finally Fairfield, Conn. In addition to being the commodore of Black Rock Yacht Club (BRYC) (Bridgeport, Conn.) in 1989, Lubeck was an avid sailor, a great leader and a wonderful husband and father. Many may recall that he pioneered what has become US Sailing’s JuniorRead More

Eric Victor Pearson, 67

January 27, 2018 at 12:00 am

Jamestown, R.I. Eric Pearson passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 27. He was born in Bristol, R.I., to the late Albert and Muriel (Chace) Pearson of Weston, Mass. Eric was employed with Brown and Sharpe (North Kingstown, R.I.) as a toolmaker for 10 years until its closing. He then worked for Hood Yachts Systems (Portsmouth, R.I.) refurbishing gear boxes for their stowaway furling systems. When they closed he then started his own business called Pearson Furling Systems, which he operated from his residence on Jamestown (R.I.) for the past 20 years. Anyone who knew Eric knows his passion for sailing and being on the water. He was a captain of the sea who never used a chart and seemed toRead More

Warren Miller, 93

January 24, 2018 at 12:00 am

Orcas Island, Wa. Warren Miller, the legendary outdoor filmmaker who for decades made homages to downhill skiing that he narrated with his own humorous style, died Jan. 24. A World War II veteran, ski racer, surfer and sailor, Miller produced more than 500 action films about a variety of outdoor activities including surfing and sailing. But he was best known for his thrill-seeking films featuring daredevil skiers barreling down breathtakingly steep slopes. His annual ski movies served as informal kickoffs to ski season and became a rite of passage for the legions of ski bums and snowboarders who flocked to see them at movie theaters and played them on video while relaxing with drinks after tough ski days. In 1946,Read More

David Walters, 75

January 17, 2018 at 12:00 am

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. David Walters passed away Jan. 17. His impact on the marine industry was profound, and will endure for many years to come. He was the founder of David Walters Yachts, designer and builder of the Cambria series of popular cruising yachts, and co-founder of Shannon Yachts. For David, his career was more than a profession: it was a lifelong passion, and one he was always eager to share. He touched many lives both professionally and personally. Dave’s passion for sailboats, and talent as a winning helmsman and able crew member spanned 63 years, first evident in 1953 competing in junior one-design classes from his home Riverside (Conn.) Yacht Club. Racing his Blue Jay Boomerang in 1960, DaveRead More

Virginia “Ginny” Gray, 85

January 5, 2018 at 12:00 am

Hingham, Mass. Ginny passed away on Jan. 5. She grew up between Boston and Cohasset before settling in Hingham, where she contributed mightily during her long life. In 1971, with her husband and fellow Hingham residents, she founded the Lincoln Sailing Center (now Hingham Maritime Center), where she served for 31 years as executive director, with the mission to make sailing lessons affordable and accessible to all. She was recognized by President Reagan with the People-to-People Sports Committee Recognition Award for outstanding contributions to international friendship, goodwill and understanding through sports. Ginny was the first woman treasurer, vice president and president of the Yacht Racing Union of Massachusetts Bay (now Mass Bay Sailing), which honored her with the Distinguished ServiceRead More

Skip Sheldon, 87

December 29, 2017 at 12:00 am

Shelburne, Vt. Dr. Huntington “Skip” Sheldon passed away on Friday, Dec. 29. Skip’s medical career spanned four decades and was distinguished by his work in research and teaching. Skip also lived a long and diverse sailing life, accomplishing much in both racing and cruising. He got his start in sailing at the Devon Yacht Club in Eastern Long Island. Skip’s experiences sailing as a medical student on the schooner Baleen, and racing-cruising Maine and Scandinavian waters, would provide the foundation for his pursuit of lofty ocean-sailing goals. In the 1990s he and his family sailed the Baltic, Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas before heading for high latitudes, where they eventually reached Spitsbergen in the Arctic. Aboard two American-designed and -built offshoreRead More

Everett A. Pearson, 84

December 24, 2017 at 12:00 am

Warren, R.I. and Estero, Fla. Everett passed away Dec. 24. He was the co-founder of Pearson Yachts, one of the first companies to build large production fiberglass boats, earning him the title “grandfather of fiberglass production.” In 1968, he continued his boatbuilding and fiberglass work with the start of Tillotson-Pearson, Inc. (TPI). TPI built wind blades, all-composite bus bodies, test-track vehicles for Disney Imagineering, the branches on the Animal Kingdom Tree of Life, and the well-known J/Boats. An avid sailor, he competed in local yacht club and ocean racing events, and was a member of the New York Yacht Club. He also enjoyed tennis and, in later years, playing golf at Wildcat Run Golf and Country Club in Estero, Fla.Read More

Jean Dithmar Myer, 71

December 19, 2017 at 12:00 am

Redding, Conn. Jean passed away Dec. 19 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. While growing up in Glenview, Ill., she actively developed a lifelong love for ballet and sports. After graduating from Middlebury College in 1968 with a math degree, she enjoyed a long, successful career at IBM, while pursuing her interests of sailing, travel and sports. In 1988, she joined a sailing crew in the Boston area who were to become part of her extended family for the rest of her life. After retiring in 2000, Jean raced and cruised long distances, crossing the Atlantic eight times and the Pacific twice, and cruised the Baltic Sea, Greenland, Nova Scotia, Hudson’s Bay, Thailand, the Pacific Northwest, and the GreatRead More

John Marcy Mecray, 80

November 1, 2017 at 12:00 am

Jamestown, R.I. The well-known American realist painter, best known for his marine art, passed away Nov. 1. John grew up in Cape May, N.J., where he developed a lifelong passion for sailing. He attended the Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts, and had a successful career as an illustrator. He gave service to his country with a tour of duty in Europe. John moved his family to Newport the same year the Tall Ships first came to the island in 1976 and launched his second career as a marine artist. He combined his superb painting talent with an encyclopedic knowledge of seafaring history. Throughout the years, his paintings and rare drawings were hung in homes ofRead More

Frederick “Butch” Vernon Minson, 71

October 30, 2017 at 12:00 am

Verona Island, Maine Frederick “Butch” Vernon Minson, 71, passed away at his home Oct. 30, 2017. He was born Feb. 5, 1946, in Alexandria, Va., the son of Frederick L. and Margaret V. (Davis) Minson. Butch graduated from Old Lyme High School (Conn.) in 1964. Following high school, he attended the Coast Guard Academy, graduating in 1968. He led the Coast Guard Academy sailing team as a team captain. In 1966, Butch led the team to win the college National Sailings Championship and, in 1968, he won the college Single-Handed National Sailing Championship. In 1967 and 1968 – the first two years the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association bestowed such status – Butch was a member of the All-American Sailing Team. AfterRead More