Jim Maivald – Beloved Volunteer, Mentor, Friend

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With a heavy heart I must share that our dear friend Jim Maivald has died. Jim’s wife, Susan Maivald informed us that he collapsed during a gym workout and had suffered a series of heart attacks and a stroke. She shared her appreciation for all of the love, support, and prayers on his social profile while he was in the hospital last week.

Susan has extended an invitation to WYC friends to join an open house this Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18, at their family home at 8304 Tripp Ave, Skokie, IL from 5:00 – 8:00 PM. Beverages will be served, and visitors may bring food to share if desired.

A celebration of Jim’s life is in planning for January of 2024. Details of that event will be shared here as the time approaches.

The Maivald family have been WYC members since 2017, and as word spread of Jim being hospitalized, members who reached out for more information wanted more than anything to be able to help Susan. Queries and support came with praise for how often Jim would jump in to help everyone.  

Jim gave WYC his time, his expertise, his moral support, his artistic abilities, and his heartfelt passion for boating. As a sailor, he enjoyed mentoring and sharing stories and history. He taught young members the importance of knowing how to use tried and true methods for when technology fails or just shuts down because the battery is low. He did so with the warm welcoming feeling of a dear friend you have known for years, regardless of whether you just met.

He volunteered in leadership as a director on the board with WYC through trying times, and although he had given more than a fair share in volunteering and had provided training to those taking over the technology side he nurtured for many years, the concept for the Milwaukegan Race reengaged his enthusiasm and creativity…and drive to be our grill master again. It’s just a fact that had to be accepted about Jim, inevitable even; if there was going to be a grill at an event, we would find Jim behind it, preparing everyone’s favorite family barbeque faire with Susan close by coordinating every detail while they joyfully greeted everyone as welcoming hosts!

To the members of the Waukegan Yacht Club, attendees for celestial navigation, sail racing fans, and avid cruising participants, Jim was our humble and patient mentor – emphasizing instructions to drive financial responsibility when planning parties and events but passionate in reminding us that sail racing and cruising events are a reason to gather and welcome friends…and more friends…and more friends.

Jim, we will all miss your genuine smile and your welcoming embrace, and I will keep your spirit present in our fleets and in our hearts by remembering your example and remembering to gather friends and celebrate everything that boating life has to offer us every day,

Nikki Sullivan