James F Featherstone
November 7, 1935 – February 2, 2019
Commander James Featherstone 83, of Orlando died Saturday February 2, 2019 at the Advent Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs, surrounded by his wife and daughters.
Jim was born November 7, 1935 in Hannibal, Missouri. He was the son of the late Clare and Ruth (Smith) Featherstone. He graduated with the class of 1953 from Hannibal High School in Hannibal and then graduated from Hannibal Lagrange College in 1955.
On September 2, 1962 Jim married Elizabeth Josephine Geary in Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Jim entered the Naval Academy, 24th Company, on a Congressional appointment in 1955 He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the US Naval Academy in 1959 and earned his Master's Degree in Science for management in 1967, from the Naval Post-Graduate school in Monterey, California. And he was a graduate from the National Defense University, Industrial College of Armed Forces in 1976 Jim was first called to service while at the academy and served during the Lebanon Crises/Invasion in 1958. And during his first tour of duty, his ship is noted for intercepting the first Soviet ship trying to pass the blockade during the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962.
Jim moved into the role as the Weapons Officer of the USS Gearing and left in 1963 to serve as the Navigator and Executive Officer on the USS Fidelity. In 1965 he assumed command of the USS Frigate Bird, MSC 191.
His next duty station was at the Bureau of Naval Personnel where he served in the Officer Plans Branch as head of Officer Promotion Plans in 1967.
He then served as Executive Officer and Navigator on the USS Stribling in 1970 during the Black Sep Jordan Crisis. Jim next reported to Commander Destroyer Squadron Fourteen as the Chief Staff Officer. Jim had screened early for command and his next assignment as Lieutenant Commander Featherstone, was to command the USS Tattnall DDG from 1973 to 1975. During his tenure he observed the Chilean coup in 1973 and in 1975 his ship was selected to participate in a celebration for the end of World War II, in the, then USSR.
He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, The Combat Battle Efficiency “E”, Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 2 Bronze Stars for a 2nd and 3rd award, the National Defense Medal and the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 8 Bronze stars.
Jim retired after 27 years of distinguished service from the US Navy as a Commander. When he retired, Jim worked for ADTECH, Advanced Technologies in the Washington DC area for four years. He next moved to Florida and worked for Martin Marietta in the International Division as program director for the Patriot Missile for ten years.
Jim wrapped up his civilian career as an Adjunct Professor, teaching business management at Florida Southern at the Orlando satellite campus for ten years.
James leaves his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth G. Featherstone, his children, Marybeth Featherstone, and her longtime companion Charles Rumpf of Lansdale, PA, Kristin Featherstone of Sarasota, Florida, brother Glenn Featherstone of Columbia, Missouri; brother (in laws) James Geary of Waltham, Massachusetts and Richard Geary of Leominster, Massachusetts.
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 10 AM at Saint James Catholic Cathedral, 215 N. Orange Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801. He will be interred at the United States Naval Academy Columbarium at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
- James leaves his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth G. Featherstone, his children, Marybeth Featherstone, and her longtime companion Charles Rumpf of Lansdale, PA, Kristin Featherstone of Sarasota, Florida, brother Glenn Featherstone of Columbia, Missouri; brother (in laws) James Geary of Waltham, Massachusetts and Richard Geary of Leominster, Massachusetts.
- Funeral Service Thursday, February 7, 2019
James F Featherstone
February 17, 2019
To Jim’s Beloved Family,
As USNA classmates and friends we were closer at Navy than over the ensuing years, but my memories of a wonderful and generous comrade have not faded. God bless you and may Jim rest In peace. Regret unable to attend March 18 service in Annapolis, but you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
February 12, 2019
I was fortunate enough to serve under Jim Featherstone, on Tattnall in 1972 and 73. He was a great example to me, of what a Naval Officer should be. I learned many leadership principles from him. I always tried to emulate his behavior throughout my career. He was kind enough to attend my wedding. I've always been greatfull that he did. May he rest in peace.
Layne Good CDR USN Retired
February 11, 2019
To the Featherstone family:
I was a shipmate of CDR Featherstone in TATTNALL (DDG 19) having served as Operations Officer from 1972-74. Jim was a great Commanding Officer, ran a tight ship and allowed the wardroom to exercise all authority granted them. We had a great crew and made a very successful deployment in 1973 called UNITAS XIV around South America. Jim allowed all the officers to conn the ship, which made for excellent morale. I remember my time aboard TATTNALL with fond memories.
Jim was a great Naval Officer and friend. He will be missed.
Rest in peace!
CDR, USN (Ret.)
February 10, 2019
Jim was my skipper and I his Chief Engineer on Tattnall. I enjoyed my time doing this, it was a great environment created by him and his XO Walt Martin. His passing was noted by the DDG19 group blog. May he rest in peace at the USNA
May he rest in peace. Cdr Tom Ellis USN (ret) Kauai, HI
February 9, 2019
Betty and members of the Featherstone family,
I first met Jim while served as Chief Staff Officer, DESRON FOURTEEN. USS TATTNALL was f l.j agship for DESRON FOURTEEN. I was Navigator and Ship Secretary onboard TATTNALL and was thrilled when he became our Commanding Officer. He was a superb, engaging and forward-thinking naval officer with a terrific smile and keen wit. I still remember the day we embarked the Chilean Pilot who was going to guide us through the Straits of Magellan then were ordered to TURN ONE EIGHT ZERO and proceed to the Panama Canal without pausing to permit the Chilean Pilot to disembark. That was the day President Allende was assassinated. I remember Jim Featherstone fondly. Cherish your memories.
Commander John Alexander, USN, (Ret)
February 5, 2019
To Betty and Family ,
My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. I will cherish the times I got spend with Jim. He was a true Hero and a Lovely Man. I will miss our Long conversation of all his missions . Xoxo