In his early years, James enjoyed flight and sought to join the United States Air Force, but was unable to. James then served as a Merchant Marine in the United States Coast Guard during World War II, from 1943 until 1945. Skills that he learned during this time equipped him as he served as a ship’s captain for the following 33 years. James and Gloria then moved to Panama for 15 years, where he worked as a ship’s pilot, taking ships through the Panama Canal.
James’ love for the water led him to move back home to Seal Harbor in the early part of the ’90s. Though retired, James was still very active as a Mason at the Northeast Harbor Lodge No. 208, the Anah Temple Shrine, the American Legion Post No. 103, and as a past member of St. Jude’s Episcopalian Church of Seal Harbor. His hobbies included spending time as a ham radio operator, riding his motorcycle, skiing and boating.
James is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Gloria (Francis) Wood; his son Craig Wood and partner Rosalie Boyden of Portland; daughter Barbara Desalvo of Seal Harbor; five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, a niece and a nephew.
James was predeceased by his brother Carl Wood.
There will a graveside service at 1 p.m., Oct. 24, 2015, at Seal Harbor Cemetery with the Rev. William Hague presiding.
Contributions may be made to: Pine Tree Society for crippled children and adults, P.O. Box 518, Bath, ME 04530.
Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.