James B. Davis

Jun 16, 2014

Lt. Cmdr. James B. Davis, U.S. Navy Reserve, retired, shipped out peacefully on his last cruise June 14, 2014 in the home he built on the land he’d owned in Belfast for 75 years with his wife, children, Skipper Dog and Mr. Stripes, the cat, surrounding him.

Born March 26, 1919, to Mary S. and Bertrand L. Davis in Belfast, Jim attended school and graduated from Crosby High School in 1938.

Jim was a member of the first graduating class from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York in 1943. Upon graduation and commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy, Jim married his sweetheart Ruth D. McKim of Randolph, Mass.

He commenced wartime service serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of World War II, including amphibious assaults on Okinawa and Normandy.

Following World War II Jim earned a master's degree at Boston University. He returned to naval service during the Korean Conflict and in 1964 oversaw movement of the First Air Cavalry to Vietnam.

He resumed a naval career spanning 29 years. He was stationed across the United States and especially enjoyed his tenure as Naval Science Instructor at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.

Upon retirement he returned to Belfast where he built his ocean-side home and continued to raise his six children.

Jim never stopped learning, attending Seamen’s Church Institute in New York, N.Y.  to upgrade a Merchant Mariner license and once again shipping out — working in Marine Research.

Jim celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary in December. He was a devoted husband and father. Jim was an avid outdoorsman, sailor, ham radio operator and jack-of-all-trades. He was known for his lively yarns and interesting stories, especially of his Belfast boyhood. Jim knew how to tell a story. He loved all animals especially his first lab, Sailor.

Jim was predeceased by two daughters, Melanie Joy and Martha Alice and one son Gy Sgt. Craig A. Davis, U.S. Marine Corps. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; sons James Jr. , his wife Yvonne and son Paul; daughter MaryBeth Pride and husband Ken; grandchildren, Vespfree, Sara, Loring, Eliot, Hillary and James III; and great-granddaughters Betsy and Melanie.

Jim was a long-time Mason, Shriner, member of the SAR and Pine Tree Chapter of Military Officers of United States where he was past president.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Waldo County Retired Teachers’ Association Scholarship Fund, Rebecca Vachon, Treasurer WCEA-R, 146 Robinson Schoolhouse Road, Morrill, Maine 04952 or The Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, Maine, 04841.

A memorial reception will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home, Belfast. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.ripostafh.com.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Paul Mazur of Belfast.

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