Captain John W. Doswell, the Final Voyage

john-on-ship-headpicOn Friday, New York lost an essential part of its waterfront when Captain John W. Doswell died after a long illness. John was a pioneer in multimedia presentations. He was a writer, designer, producer and programmer. He was also a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam as well as an experienced sailor. He was a loving father and husband. He will probably be best remembered, however, for his impact on the waterfront community.

He was the Founding Chair of Friends of Hudson River Park and was involved with the passage of the Hudson River Park Act, which led to the formation of the Hudson River Park Trust, a city/state agency charged with building the park. He served on the board of the North River Historic Ship Society and Save Our Ships NY, and was a founding board member of the Governors Island Alliance. He also was the Executive Director of the Working Harbor Committee which sponsors the Hidden Harbor Tours, educating people about the working harbor of NY/NJ.  At John’s wedding to his life-partner, Jean Preece, in July, Huntley Gill, architectural preservation specialist said of the two,John and Jean are the most important people in New York in terms of preserving the waterfront.  They are the people who get things done…

John’s wife, Jean made the following statement:


A star has fallen from the sky – a very bright star. John W. Doswell passed away peacefully Friday evening, January 2nd, surrounded by his family. He graced us with his knowledge, wisdom, leadership, and calm loving temperament. The ships of the harbor will sail on because of his influence, but we are immeasurably saddened by this great loss.

To every sailor comes time to drop anchor.
Haul in the sails, and make the lines fast.
You deep-water dreamer, your journey is over
You’re safe in the harbor at last.
You’re safe in the harbor at last.

Safe in the Harbor, Eric Bogle

John’s wife, Jean, and their daughter, Jhoneen, are hosting ‘Reflection Gatherings’ on Tues-Wed-Thurs, the 6th, 7th, and 8th, from 2:00 pm to 9:00‎ pm each day. They would like John’s friends to stop by and share memories and stories at Doswell Productions, 455 West 43rd St, NY, NY.

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8 Responses to Captain John W. Doswell, the Final Voyage

  1. Mara Thieroff says:

    John was a wonderful man and an integral part of an amazing family!

  2. Thank you for saying this all so well. I’m linking from my own farewell post.

  3. Captain, my Captain….
    John will be greatly missed, we so enjoyed him being in our lives.
    To Jean & Jhoneen, know that he loved you both.
    The true tribute to him is that every time we view the great NYC waterfront
    we know he is there….but won’t be the same without him.

    Godspeed good Captain Doswell.

    Robert & Louise Maher

  4. AJ Pietrantone says:

    John taught me so much about the waterfront – – essential for my job at Hudson River Park. More importantly, he taught me about life. Was a privilege to know him and his family. Bon Voyage.

  5. David Rocco says:

    A very good sharing and passionate man! My best to John’s love ones who
    are going through these difficult times!

  6. Robert Huszar says:

    I am so sorry to hear of John’s departure. He, along with his good friend, John Krevey, were the waterfront. They opened so many roads and fought so hard for public access. All of our lives were enriched by John.

  7. Capt. John was a true friend and devoted advocate. As the founder of our organization — Friends of Hudson River Park — his vast knowledge of all things nautical within our Park made him a stalwart champion and wise advisor. We will always honor his legacy, striving to advance Hudson River Park with the same integrity he brought to our Park’s leadership and to the NY waterfront community he so loved and served during his accomplished life. You will be missed, Captain.

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