Captain Julian M. Fernandez

  • Born: October 31, 1922
  • Died: April 26, 2013
  • Location: Tampa, Florida

Blount & Curry Funeral Home - MacDill Avenue Chapel

605 South MacDill Avenue
Tampa, FL 33609
Tel. (813) 876-2421

Tribute & Message From The Family

Captain Julian M. Fernandez, of Anna Maria, formerly of Miami and Tampa, died Friday, April 26, 2013. He was born October 31, 1922 in Arvada,CO, and grew up in Tampa. He was the son of the late Jose and Nicolasa Fernandez. He attended Tampa public schools and graduated from Hillsborough High School in 1940 and went to U.S.M.S. Officer Candidate School in New London, CT. During WWII, he saw duty in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. He served in all Deck capacities in the U.S. Merchant Marine and survived having 2 of his ships torpedoed. He graduated as Ensign with a Third Mate unlimited ocean license in 1944. He attended various schools to prepare for U.S.Coast Guard examinations to upgrade his license to Second Mate, Chief Mate, and Master, all oceans unlimited. In 1945, at age 22, he became the youngest Captain for Waterman Steamship Corp. in Mobile, AL. In 1954 he was appointed Pilot for the Port of Miami, at that time known as the Miami Bar Pilots. Under his leadership, this became the Biscayne Bay Pilots. He served as Chairman of the Biscayne Bay Pilots from 1960 until his retirement in 1980. At retirement, He held 10 Master's Licenses with First Class Pilot endorsement from Miami. In 1955, he was appointed by Gov. Leroy Collins to the local Florida Board of Pilot Commissioners and served continuously until the State Board of Pilot Commissioners was created by Act of Legislature. Gov. Reuben Askew appointed him to the State Board and he served as President of the State Board until 1980. He then served as Chief of Cruise Operations for the Port of Miami and International Marine Consultant assisting in creating ports in the Caribbean and West Indies and the Middle East. In this capacity he chaired numerous conventions and seminars all over the world on piloting and port related matters. He consulted with Disney Corp. in the creation of their cruise line. He also opened the South American market for an international company that built gantry cranes which brought new industry and great economic boost to smaller ports. In addition to his service with the State Board of Pilot Commissioners, he was a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Engineers, Member of The Propeller Club, Port of Miami, President of OpSail Miami, Director, Dade Marine Institute, Vice President, Marine Council, Member American Pilots Association, President and Chairman, Florida Maritime Museum, Council of American Master Mariners, and on Board of Directors, Seaman's International Park, Miami, He was a member of the Rotary Club of Miami. He was a Mason, a 69 year member of the Universal Lodge #178, F. & A.M, Tampa, He was 32 Degree, Scottish Rite, Miami, and Mahi Shrine Temple (Ambassador Corps), Miami. He was predeceased by his parents, his 2 brothers, Jose G. Fernandez (Mercedes) and Jesus "Duke" Fernandez (Hazel); his sisters, Maria Fernandez, Louisa Fernandez (Sancho Fernandez) and Helen (Frank) Perez. He is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Carolyn Davis Fernandez; several nieces and nephews; Carroll, Julia and Jennifer Sloan; and his beloved pets, Bubba, Olivia and Sammy. He also leaves many dear friends, and caregivers who became his dear friends and companions. While he was a man of great accomplishments, his greatest legacy is his unfailing graciousness, generosity and loyalty to his family and friends. He was a patron of the arts, a raconteur and a true Renaissance man. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 12502 USF Pine Dr., Tampa, or the charity of your choice. Services will be held at Blount and Curry, MacDill Avenue Chapel, Tampa. Visitation 6-7:00 p.m. Friday May 3rd with a service beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Condolence & Memory Journal

My name is Joe Garcia and for 46 years I was an agent with the Penn Mutual Life Insurance company. One of the fringe benefits of my occupation was meeting people like Julian Fernandez. I met Julian through my friend Ferdie Pacheco. As our friendship grew, the three of us would frequently meet for lunch and have excellent fellowship. These memories are some of my fondest of my professional life.
Ruth and I extend our love and sympathy to Carolyn and each one who knew and loved Julian. I thank God for good friends and good memories.

Posted by Joe Garcia - Miami Lakes, FL - Friend and client   May 03, 2013


Posted by CHARLIE DANIEL - ANNA MARIA, FL - FRIEND   May 02, 2013

So sorry to hear of Capt Julian's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family

Posted by Stephen Harrington & Family - Miami - Acquaintance   May 01, 2013

My family is sorry to here of the Captians passing. and will be in out Prayers ED Billy Nick

Posted by Weckesser Family - Bradenton, FL - friend   April 30, 2013


I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. Your family is in my prayers as you gather to celebrate his wonderful life.


Posted by Angela Warwick - Palm Bay, FL - My mother & Corky best friends   April 29, 2013

On eagles wings dear Daddy,
on eagles wings...
with love always,

Posted by Carroll "Corky" Fernandez Sloan - Mobile, AL - daughter   April 28, 2013

Uncle Nino had tremendous influence on the direction of my life. He and Carolyn always called me Dukie,to my secret delight. Vacations in his Coconut Grove homes, or at the old barracks at the Government Cut ,later with he and the ever gracious and gentle Carolyn at Anna Maria. Peering out over South Beach with those giant binoculars at the South Beach Pilots office, driving his countless classic cars and eating at Joe's Stone Crab are just a few of the many wonderful memories I have of our uncle. The first time I ever boarded a big ship by climbing a Jacobs ladder was to accompany him when he piloted the largest ship, at that time, to enter the port of Miami; The U.K. cargo ship Simonburn. I was proud to be named after him and my Father.

Posted by Julian Duke Fernandez - Valdosta, GA - nephew, son Duke and Hazel   April 28, 2013

Fair winds and following seas... A great Mariner, the world is a better place because of his decades of service and commitment Condolences to my aunt Carolyn. I wish that I'd had more chances to spend time with him.

Posted by Doug Nunnally    April 28, 2013

Deeply saddened by the loss of my Uncle"Nino".My heart goes out to my
Aunt Carolyn who was a truly loving and devoted wife. My thoughts and prayers are with her and all of the other nieces and nephews on whom he has made loving and lasting impressions. I will miss him.
"God speed".

Posted by Kathleen Hope Fernandez - VALDOSTA, GA - Paternal niece   April 28, 2013

If The Capitano wasn't a friend of Ed Davies, Providence, Rhode Island, he should have been. It looks like they lived parallel lives in the Merchant Marine and later in starting Pilot associations and being gracious renaissance men. I thought there was only one like Ed. I am glad there was another.

Posted by Susan Curtis - Steinhatchee, FL - acquaintance   April 28, 2013

Family Album

Life Stories

I was a caregiver for Captain for a few months, and although sometimes it was tough, I was thrilled to spend time with him and learn about his life. He was a man of principle, but also one of the sweetest souls I've enountered. Even after I left that job, I prayed for him and his wife every night. They were truly great people, and while it hurts to discover his passing, it is comforting to know he is at peace.
A true Renaissance Man.

God Speed Captain,
Matthew Shaw