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Obituary: James Edward Guernsey

Published February 21, 2015

James Edward Guernsey, 81, passed away Friday, February 20, 2015 at his home in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, after a brief battle with ALS. 

He was the beloved father of Edward Guernsey of Arlington, Virginia, Matthew Guernsey of Phoenix, Arizona, and Laurie Guernsey of New York, New York, and cherished brother of Theresa Smith of Safety Harbor, Florida.  He was predeceased by his wife of 20 years, Diane Guernsey (Woods).

James was born in Deep River, Connecticut on August 3rd, 1933, the son of Mary Svihovec and James Guernsey who were immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia and Hungary.  James grew up in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, and was a graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

James served in the Korean War with an air rescue unit in the Air Force.  After the war, James began his 25 year career with Honeywell and was transferred to Chicago, Illinois.  It was there that he met Diane, and the two were married in 1967.  In 1969, James moved to Holliston, MA  to raise his family and later served as a member of the Holliston Auxiliary Police force for many years before moving to Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.  While there, he pursued his passion for boating and served as a member of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Police Department before retiring in 2014.

James’ hobbies and interests included carpentry, tall ship models, Asian antiques, and military history.  A representation of his skills as a craftsman and his passion for the ocean is the “Queen Diane”, a tall ship model named after his wife that took 10 years to complete and now decorates the President’s Office of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  James was also a dedicated student of Uechi-Ryu Karate having attained the rank of Sandan (3rd degree Black Belt) while studying under Master Walter Mattson of the Okinawa Uechi Ryu Karate Do Association.

A funeral service will be announced in the near future.  Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Compassionate Care ALS, Gordon T. Heald ALS Fund, P.O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02547, www.ccals.org.

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