James B. Fernandez
April 14, 2015
James B. Fernandez, 67 of Milford, PA, passed away on April 14, 2015 at Bon Secours Hospital, Port Jervis, NY. The son of the late Cyril and Lucille (Bradford) Fernandez, he was born on October 8, 1947 in Fort Knox, KY.
Jim attended Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy where he earned an Engineering Degree. During his time at the Academy he was assigned to ships that supplied the troops in Vietnam. Throughout his forty year career he advanced within the ranks of merchant marine engineers and retired as Chief Engineer in 2004.
Within the span of his career, Jim maintained the engines that powered merchant ships which supply massive shipments of ordinance in wartime and goods of all sorts in peacetime. Calls home from Jim could have been from any ocean or exotic port – The Maldives, The Phillippines, Diego Garcia, and sometimes his favorites in Europe and the United Kingdom. Like many seamen he had his seafaring attachments: his favorite Captain, his favorite ship’s dog, his favorite crewmates.
Jim was the quintessential ‘hands-on guy.’ He repaired and built mechanical items such as: light switches, space heaters and motorcycles, sometimes even inside his small ships cabin. He appreciated precision and order, and would happily adjust a crooked painting or a recipe for steak au poivre or chicken tarragon.
Jim was an avid reader: naval history in peace and war, British history, and early American history. He was very proud of the fact that he was a direct descendant of Governor William Bradford, the first governor of the Plymouth Colony. Jim focused on personalities in history, especially those who embodied courage, strength, and grace under fire, as well as the ability to stand up to life’s surprises and adversity, which were qualities that he exhibited at the end of his own life.
Despite the fact that Jim traveled around the world he always returned to Milford. He had lived in Milford as a teen, and also throughout is adult life. He dedicated himself to a floating Trivial Pursuit Game around town. He enjoyed the company of life-long friends, and he especially loved his connections to his family who would gather at his sister’s home in Milford several times a year.
He is survived by his loving sister and brother-in-law Phyllis Fernandez and Cesar Bujosa; cousin Ann Colle; nieces and nephews, John Corkery, Joanna Corkery, Laura Guthridge, Adam Dukes and Sarah McWilliams. The family requests that any donations in Jim’s memory go to the Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County, PA.
“Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.”