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James Victor Gurge ’35

Published in Apr. 23, 2003, issue

Bill died May 7, 2001, in Irvine, Calif., a continent away from Staten Island, N.Y., where he was born, raised, and developed a lifelong love for surf swimming and the sea. At Princeton he majored in biology, joined Arbor Inn, and found time for varsity soccer, lacrosse, and even some basketball, as well as swimming. But his first job after graduation was in the freight end of the steamship industry. During WWII he spent four years in the Marine Corps, rising from private to captain and battalion commander before joining the US landing on Okinawa.

Back in civilian life in 1946, the sea still called. He first got a job with the Holland-America Line in NYC, where he rose to become freight manager. Then he moved to San Rafael, Calif., where he served as Pacific Coast manager for both Holland-America and Royal Mail Lines of London. He also was president of the San Francisco-based Foreign Ship Owners Assn. and director of the Pacific Maritime Assn. and the Netherlands American and British Chambers of Commerce.

Bill retired in 1970. He and his wife, Helen, "drifted" down the coast to Irvine, their perfect retirement spot. Helen survives him, as do sons James III and John, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The Class of 1935

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