James Anthony (Jim) Black – President and CEO of Moran Shipping Agencies – passed away peacefully with family by his side on July 30, 2023. He was 72 years old and leaves this world as a beloved father, brother, uncle, and grandfather; as a global icon of the maritime industry; and as a dear friend to all who knew him.
Jim was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on June 13, 1951, the youngest of seven children in a small brick home. From an early age, Jim possessed a unique combination of charm, devotion, kindness, and compassion. He was a soothing presence: calm under pressure and always ready to enfold friends, family, and colleagues in one of his bearlike hugs. He was a generous man who loved to provide for his friends and family, who never forgot a birthday or special occasion, and whose philanthropy supported the education of countless students.
Upon graduating from Bishop Stang High School and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Jim moved to Houston in 1975 to lead the expansion of Moran Shipping Agencies from its New England roots into Texas. In 1986, he assumed full control of the company’s operations, and, under his leadership, Moran Shipping Agencies became the largest independent steamship agency in North America. He accomplished this feat by means of an unyielding commitment to both the success of the company and the well-being of its employees.
On August 8, 1986, Jim married the love of his life – Beth – and moved to The Woodlands, TX to start a family. Shortly after his arrival, Jim became an active member of The Woodlands Country Club where he became an avid and formidable golfer. He participated in, and won, many golf tournaments in the decades that followed. Jim was also a well-known presence at his hometown course, the Fall River Country Club.
Despite a busy work schedule filled with regular trips to Boston, New York, London, Greece, and other distant locations, Jim always made time to spend with his family. In particular, he cherished the regular trips to Massachusetts with his wife and sons to spend time and share memories with childhood friends and his many relatives.
Jim also took an active leadership role in local port communities, industry organizations, and non-profits. He served, with great passion and consequence, on the boards of St. Pius X High School, the West Gulf Maritime Association, the Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (ASBA), the Greater Houston Port Bureau, and many more. Jim’s longtime commitment to the Houston maritime industry and community was recognized by his selection as 2019 Maritime Leader of the Year.
Jim was pre-deceased by his wife, Beth Judith Abbey Black. He is survived by his sons James Andrew Black and Adam Jason Black; his daughter-in-law, Michela Stager Black; his grandchildren James Alden Black, Lyla Beth Black, and Lincoln Parise-Black; his siblings Robert Black, Eleanor Furtado, Michael Black, Eileen Kelly, and Margaret Maccarone; as well as by dozens of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws. Jim was also pre-deceased by his parents, Frank, and Irene, and by his brother Bill Black.
Visitation will be held at Forest Park Funeral Home, The Woodlands, TX from 5:30-8:00 PM on Monday August 7, 2023. His Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday August 8, 2023, beginning at 10:00 AM at Saints Simon and Jude Catholic Church, The Woodlands, TX.
In accordance with his final wishes, Jim will be interred in his native Fall River during a separate ceremony. A Committal Service will be held in late August and details for that ceremony will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Beth Black Memorial Scholarship Fund at St. Pius X High School - 811 W. Donovan St., Houston, TX, 77091. If planning to attend, please RSVP to Andrew Black at [email protected].