James Hugh "Jim" Brown, 77, died July 6 at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. after suffering a stroke at his home in Fairfield Harbour.
Jim was born in Caspar, Wyo., and raised in Denver. After high school he served in the U.S. Marine Corps before becoming manager of the Ski Tip Resort in Keystone. Although an accomplished skier, Jim had always dreamed of sailing alone around the world, so in 1981, he left the snow and ice behind and cast off in his San Juan 30 sailboat for the "high seas adventure" which would define his life. He spent the next eight years circumnavigating the globe learning new skills, exploring exotic places, and filling his memory bank with a never-ending supply of sea-tales of his experiences.
When he moved to New Bern, Jim turned his skills into a marine repair business at Duck Creek Boatyard in Bridgeton. He soon had a devoted following among local sailors working as a master craftsman in both wood and fiberglass repair. Jim could fix anything on a boat, was always eager to help his friends with their boating projects, and was never at a "loss for words" when it came to voicing his opinions about either marine or political issues.
He is survived by his lifemate Nancy Willis May, and two sisters, Joy Smith of Banning, Calif. and Sharon Long of Colorado Springs.
Those wishing to make memorial donations may do so to the Salvation Army of New Bern.