It is my sad duty to inform you that Captain James E. Shew, USN-Ret, my XO on USS Tullibee SSN-597, went on Eternal Patrol yesterday (February 19, 2018) , at approximately5:30 PM. I will post obituary information as I receive it.
Yesterday, I lost a friend, a mentor, a father, a brother. This man seemed to be my nemesis when I was a young sailor. I got in a bad brawl in New York and ended up breaking a few bones in my right hand. He asked Captain K.D. Folta to have me Court-martialed. In Fort Lauderdale, I drank hard all night and slept on the beach to late into the day. Again, he asked Captain Folta to send me to a court-martial board. Again, in Mayport, he recommended court-martial. Something to do with me and a loaded .45 and my attitude. Each time, the Captain told him to get a grip. He seemed to not have a soft spot for this young sailor! Many years later, I understood that mediocrity was not a part of his vocabulary, nor was it a fabric that he wanted in the sailors with whom he served. He was about rules, regulations, Navy discipline, tradition. He taught me those things. Years passed by. About 30-something. The Tullibee Association came about and he made the reunions. Not only did he make them, but he was always senior officer in charge. And he assumed the role and fulfilled it. And he discharged those duties like he did his duties as my XO, and later as the CO of the boats he went on to command. We developed a friendship. We became family. He asked me to be his best man when he married the love of his life, Daniela. What an honor for him and Daniela to want to have me be a part of their lives. I never told him all these years, but I finally had a chance to tell him I love him a couple of days ago. And I do. Jim Shew, you helped make a man out of a boy. I appreciate your hard-nosed attitude toward a boy and the love and friendship you showed to a man. Your life made the lives of many people better. We are better me for for you being here. You’ll be in my thoughts for a long time to come. Daniela, thank you you for being a part of our lives and sharing our journey. I love you. We are always here for you.
Shipmates, life is short. Embrace family and the friendships we have made.