.I am sorry to have to inform you that Jim Liston passed away at home about 7:30 this evening after a long bout with pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed in the spring of 2015.  He had been under hospice care since May and has been unconscious for the past three days.  When he first was diagnosed he took a course of chemotherapy which made him quite ill, and had to give up almost all of his activities, so he sold his J-105, Cat’s Meow.  He was unable to sail in the 2015 Green Flash races at all, but he and his wife Judy did occasionally go to the South Jetty to watch us race.  Eventually the chemotherapy was changed to a prescription that was efficacious and which didn’t make him so sick and, much to my surprise, he began sailing the Venice Yacht Club owned Ranger 33, “Joy”.  My first record in Green Flash shows he and Steve Saewert as co-shippers of Joy on May 10, 2016.  At first his participation was somewhat spotty but by the August-September series he sailed all of the races and finished third in the 10 boat fleet.  In the Venice Sailing Squadron Fall Series he sailed six of the eight races and finished fourth in the 11 boat fleet.  My last record of him as skipper in the VSS Spring Series was April 15th and after that Bob Eppinger was listed as skipper.  In that series Joy finished fifth in the 11 boat fleet.  My last record of Jim sailing was in the Green Flash race of April 18, 2017, when he finished second in an eight boat fleet.  We were first in that race, but had I known that it would be his final race we could have slowed down a bit.

Jim was a long-time mainstay of the Venice sail racing community, including a lengthy stint as the Venice Sailing Squadron racing Fleet Captain and the Sail Fleet Captain of the Venice Yacht Club.  He also served on the Sarasota Bay Yachting Association Board of Directors and for some time was its secretary.  He was the VSS Racing Fleet Captain when I moved here in 2001 and it was he who convinced me to get back into racing, a sport that I thought I had left behind.  I believe he was also a member of the West Florida PHRF board of directors for a period.  Before moving to Florida he had been an active sailor in Oklahoma and other places in the Midwest as well as having been the racing Fleet Captain in at least one of his previous clubs.Jim was a real gentleman and many of us have benefitted from having known him and from sailing with and against him.  He will be sorely missed.A funeral is planned for the latter part of October of this year here in Venice.JohnLynch
Mobile 941 539-5623

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