James M. Stafford (1923 - 2014)

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James M. Stafford
11/1/1923 - 1/21/2014

James Martin Stafford, born on November 1, 1923 in Seattle, Wash., passed away at home in Newcastle, on January 21, 2014 after a long illness.
Jim spent most of his formative years in Washington State. He loved the sea and he followed in his great-grandfather's footsteps by making seagoing his career.
In January 1942, Jim joined the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Program. His preliminary training was at Treasure Island, in San Francisco. He was then assigned as Deck Cadet on a new Liberty ship, the S.S. John Paul Jones, in April 1942.
Jim entered Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy in New York in October 1942 and graduated in June 1943. From there, he obtained his Third Mate's License and sailed during World War II as a Merchant Marine. During the Korean War, he served in the Navy on the USS Okanogan, APA 220.
After his discharge from the Navy in 1952, Jim signed on with the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) and sailed mainly in the Pacific. In 1958 Jim joined the Matson Navigation Co. as Third Mate aboard the SS Monterey. Until 1963, Jim sailed as Third, Second and Chief Mate aboard the Matson passenger ships, the majority of the time he served on the SS Mariposa.
In 1963 Jim was offered the position of Stevedore Superintendent, with Matson Terminals in San Francisco. He found stevedoring quite a challenging and interesting position. During this time he was associated with many foreign, as well as U.S. steamship companies.
In October 1968, Jim returned to sea, sailing as Chief Mate and Relief Master on Matson container ships.
In 1971 he was assigned to the SS Mariposa as Chief Mate. Matson sold the Oceanic Passenger ships and freighters to Pacific Far East Lines (PFEL). Jim remained with the Mariposa and continued sailing with PFEL as Chief Mate and Relief Master on the Mariposa.
In 1974, Jim returned to Matson as Master of the SS Kopaa. Jim retired in 1981 after sailing as Master on several container ships. His last ship was the SS Manukai.
Jim continued to travel the world over during his retirement. Between travels, he was an avid reader and enjoyed listening to music and visiting with his numerous friends.
He is survived by daughters Galina Chandler of Poulsbo, Wash.; and Eve Lyn Eastteam of Auburn, son-in-law Larry and grandchildren: James, Amanda and Lisa.
A Celebration of Jim's life will be held at the Castle City Mobile Park club house in Newcastle on Saturday February 22, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
As per his wishes, Jim was cremated and his ashes will be scattered on a "lee tide under the Golden Gate Bridge" in the San Francisco Bay.
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on Feb. 16, 2014
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