James “Jim” G. Conti, a former longtime Marina del Rey resident and a member of the Pacific Mariners Yacht Club, died May 13 in Los Angeles. He was 69.
Conti was born in Jamestown, NY. At the age of 8, he joined the newly renovated Jamestown Boys Club, where he excelled in swimming.
Swim coaches had encouraged him to compete because they believed he had the potential to make the U.S. Olympic team, his family said. However, Conti found that gymnastics was more to his liking and he won numerous trophies.
He attended Jamestown High School prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy, he served as an English/Italian translator during the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
Conti and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1963. He became a house painter and his self-made business flourished throughout Marina del Rey, where he fell in love with the community and its atmosphere, family members said.
For many years Conti’s home was in the Marina, and he eventually lived on his sailboat, Gitana. Conti loved his boat and spent his retirement years sailing in Mexico, making his home port in San Carlos in Sonora, Mexico.
A member of the Pacific Mariners Yacht Club in the Marina since 1996, Conti served as the assistant clubhouse manager, port captain and a member of the Board of Directors, Quartermaster. In 2002 he was selected to receive the Richard M. Sommers Mariner of the Year Award, considered the most prestigious award given to a member for service to the club.
Conti touched many with his generous heart, charismatic smile, sense of humor and his willingness to be there for his loved ones, friends and family said.
Conti was preceded in death by his parents, James J. in 1983 and Carmela in April 2011. He is survived by his daughter Lisa; sisters Barbara and Debi; brother Bob; two grandchildren, aunts uncles and many cousins.
Tributes may be made in Conti’s memory to the Jamestown Boys Club, 62 Allen St., Jamestown, NY 14701. A memorial service is scheduled at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 12 at the Pacific Mariners Yacht Club, 13915 Panay Way, Marina del Rey, followed by a burial at sea. A celebration of life will be held at the yacht club following the services.