Cover photo for William Bernard Weeks's Obituary
1941 William 2023

William Bernard Weeks

September 4, 1941 — May 25, 2023



William “Captain Jim” Bernard Weeks, age 82, born on September 4, 1941 in Stewart, Mississippi to Herbert Daniel and Ester Lee Weeks, passed away on May 25, 2023. He attended Kilmichael HS, graduating in 1959. As a standout three-sport athlete, he lettered in football and basketball and later tried out for St. Louis Cardinals.


His first real job was with Brent Towing out of Greenville, MS setting the stage for a life-long career on the Mississippi river.


Jim moved his young family to Peoria, IL to take a new job managing his first barge company. In the summer of 1969, he continued north to So. St. Paul, MN working as a service and fleet manager for St. Paul Harbor Service.


In 1978 he branched out on his own and started St. Paul Marine. Jim had a vision to create a full service repair and maintenance outfit that would service the river industry, in the upper Mississippi region. Within a year of start up, he had secured contracts to maintain and service all barges for Northern States Power and Con-Agra.


In the late 80’s he decided to step away from the service side of the industry and get back into full time piloting. Jim was always trying to improve his boats. He spent many a day tinkering with ideas, working to improve anything and everything.  Every boat he ever rode he always made sure it looked “top shelf.” 


Later in life he purchased a small towboat of his own to retire on. After three years of restoration, in the spring of 2013, he launched his new home on the Ouachita river in Columbia, LA where he resided until his passing. A true river rat to the end, Jim lived and loved his life on the river.


Jim is survived by three siblings, Margie Christy of Jackson, Mississippi, Ken Weeks (Kay) of Gainesville, Georgia and Darry Joe Weeks of Vicksburg, Mississippi as well as three sons, Kimble Weeks (Karen) of Raleigh, North Carolina, Jason Weeks (Katie) of Charlotte, North Carolina and Michael Weeks (Michelle) of Chicago, Illinois, as well as four loving grandkids and three great grandchildren and many dear friends, including Kenny Grant.


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