Capt. John S. Nugent III died peacefully at Windward Gardens June 22, 2010, with his wife, Susan, by his side.

Born in Bronxville, N.Y., he was a son of John S. and Margaret (Woods) Nugent.

He was educated in New York, including Hackley in Tarrytown. He attended Roanoke College in Roanoke, Va., then served with the Army medical corps.

In the fall of 1967, John drove to the public landing in Camden where the Stephen Tabor, a schooner that he had sailed on as a teenager, was berthed. It was there that John met and began working with Orville Young, the skipper of the Tabor, and Capt. Jim Sharp, owner of the Adventure, which was berthed alongside the Tabor.

John spent that winter living aboard the boat in the harbor. The following spring, Sharp brought the Bowdoin, another schooner, into the harbor for some much-needed repair work. John assisted and learned boatbuilding skills working with Cappy Quinn on the Bowdoin. John once rescued Quinn, who did not swim, from drowning after he fell overboard into the harbor.

In 1969, John decided to pursue his love of sailing and studied for his captain’s license. He studied at the library until it closed then went to a local barn where he lived and studied under an electric blanket, his only source of heat. The U.S. Coast Guard corrected its testing information as a result of John’s extensive knowledge of the study material after he took the exam. He then worked as relief crew on the Camden schooners Mattie, Mercantile and Mary Day.

During the summer of 1983, John met Susan J. Chapman, a teacher, aboard the windjammer Angelique while working as a relief mate. They were married Sept. 7, 1985, at Vesper Hill Chapel in Rockport.

John owned and operated Down East Windjammer Packet Company in Camden, offering day sails aboard his beloved 1927 47-foot schooner Olad. In 1995 he added the North Wind, a 57-foot schooner that he designed and built, fulfilling his life’s dream. Many passengers experienced their first sail with John during his 10 years as captain in his business. It brought great joy to John for his children to grow up on the schooners. The sight of John at the helm will long be remembered by all who knew him, especially his wife.

John and the Sharp family sailed the Bowdoin extensively from Nova Scotia to the Chesapeake. John skippered the Bowdoin during the filming of “Captains Courageous,” then for four seasons in the Inter-Island Expeditions. In the fall of 1979, the Bowdoin went home to East Boothbay to Goudy & Stevens for the restoration project. John’s yellow VW Bug made many a trip from Camden to East Boothbay and Bath for this project.

In 2007 John was honored by Maine Maritime Academy for his dedication in the Bowdoin restoration project. In May 2010 John was honored and recognized by the Maine Health Care Association for his sailing career and his role in the restoration of the Bowdoin as a long-term-care patient.

The memories and love of John will be held dearly by his wife, Susan, and their children, Bryn, Abbie and John IV. His life was large, strong and full. Family, friends and the schooners were his focus in life. His skills, knowledge, expertise and achievements on the water were legendary. Many a life was saved because of John’s courage. His daughters Bryn and Abbie share his love and passion for sailing and the sea.

The compassionate caregivers at Windward Gardens who cared for John with enormous love have been a very important part of John’s extended family. Through his many years of health challenges, John received wonderful support from his family and friends.

“Love always protected, always trusted, always hoped, always persevered, love never failed.”

He is survived by his wife, Susan; three children, Bryn, Abbie and John S. Nugent IV, all of Rockport; a brother, Richard Nugent, of Florida; and two sisters, Judith of California and Margaret of New York.

He was predeceased by his parents; a sister, Joan; his father-in-law, Wilbur F. Chapman, who died May 27, 2010; and a sister-in-law, Wende S. Chapman, who died May 31, 2010.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 11, followed by a reception at the Camden Yacht Club in Camden with the Rev. Susan Stonestreet and the Rev. Kate Braestrup co-officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to The Bowdoin, c/o Maine Maritime Academy, 101 Leavitt Hall, Castine, ME 04420.

Arrangements are with  Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St.