James J. Pontz, 65, of W. Wareham, died April 30, 2018 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston after a brief illness. He was the husband of Kathryn A. (Crosby) Pontz. They were married in 2002.
Born in Holyoke, he was the son of the late Norma E. (Norton) and Richard G. Pontz, Sr.
Mr. Pontz was an able-bodied seaman for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Most recently, he served onboard the NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler. He was a member of the Seafarers’ International Union of North America A.F.L. C.I.O as an Able-Bodied Seaman. He served with distinguished service and extraordinary distinction on the NOAA ship Delaware II in June-July 2010 in the recovery efforts of the Deep-Water Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He studied at Mass Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts achieving his captains license for a 100-ton vessel. He recently retired in January.
Survivors include his wife, Kathryn A. Pontz of W. Wareham; three daughters, Andrea Pontz of Arlington, VA, Emily Pontz and Elizabeth Pontz both of Norwell; his siblings, Richard G. Pontz, Jr. of AZ, Janet Pagano of Easton, CT, Robert Pontz of NC, Jennifer Pontz of Kona, HI, Russell Pontz of Wareham, Randy Pontz of FL, and Joel Pontz of Plymouth. Also surviving are two grandchildren, Dylan Brier and Finley Teixeira. He was predeceased by his brother, the late Jeffrey Pontz.
He was known by many names by many people: James, Jim, Buzz, Johnsey, Sir, Husband, Father, Brother, shipmate, co-worker, neighbor, and friend.
Jim loved the peacefulness of the ocean and a serenity that it brings. His love for fishing and the ocean lead him to a career as a seaman on research ships for NOAA where family and friends were mesmerized by his stories of watching pilot whales following his ship for hours or swimming on coral reefs off Bora Bora.
When he wasn’t sailing around the world he spent his down time cooking for his family and friends. He was truly a gentle Giant, very passive until someone worked hard to upset him, then watch out.
He was a reflective, preferring to watch and absorb that which went on around him and used his words sparingly regardless if he was telling a seaman’s tale or adding to a conversation. He never liked the spotlight but allowed others to shine around him while he supported and encouraged them.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 2599 Cranberry Highway (Rt. 28), Wareham on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 from 4 to 7 PM. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at Church of the Good Shepherd, 74 High St., Wareham at 11:00 AM.
Donations in his memory may be made to the James Pontz Memorial Fund Account at Santander Bank N.A., Main Street, Wareham, MA. 02571.