The following is an excerpt from 2013-2014 Club President Jim Gillen’s Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to James W. Coppedge at the June 19 Change of Command ceremony:
Jim graduated from Bolles in 1946, and the Unites States Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point four years later in 1950. Upon graduation he went to work at the recently opened Diesel Shipbuilding Company located on 40 acres where Atlantic Boulevard meets the Intracoastal Waterway. Shortly thereafter he married Mary Joost. Over the next 30+ years the yard delivered roughly 200 vessels. Mary delivered and managed a small fleet of their own, four boys and two girls. Two things you can always say about the Coppedges; they are good Catholic’s and they always delivered!
Jim was also the director of the Jacksonville Seafarer publication, and was instrumental in developing the Intracoastal Waterway and securing of funds for dredging of the Port of Jacksonville. All who work in the port today or navigate her waters owe him a debt of gratitude.
With both the economy and demand for new vessels waning in the early 80’s, Jim sold the shipyard and started Coppedge Marine in May 1982, where he and his family still serve our Industry to this day.
Thank you, James W. Coppedge, for your contributions to our port, city, and industry as the Propeller Club Port of Jacksonville 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient!
Featured image: Ed Coppedge, James W. Coppedge, Jim Gillen. Images below from the presentation shown at the Change of Command ceremony.