Gate 6 ½ Loses a True Original

Susie and Jim enjoy a Gate 6 ½ sunset  |  photo courtesy of Susie Dupuis  |  post by Larry Clinton

Serafino James Presta, better known as “Uncle Jimmy” on Gate 6 ½, passed away on February 7 after a long illness.

Jimmy first moved to Gate 6 1/2 in 1995, shortly after meeting Susie Dupuis through their good friend and floating homeowner Jane Colton. Jim rented #18 on the dock from Susie for a couple of years. Eventually she moved in with him until she bought #13 in 2000. In 2003, she sold #18 to Jim and he did a major remodel on it. Sadly, when the real estate market crashed around 2008, Jim’s appraisal business took a big hit and he ended up losing the home. He was Susie’s off-and-on housemate after that until he was hospitalized. Jim appreciated every day to the fullest while living here and always enjoyed the eclectic group of dock friends.

Growing up in San Bruno, Jim graduated from Serra High School. He received a BA in History from St. Mary’s College and attended graduate school at Santa Clara University and San Francisco State.

A teacher for many years in the Oak Grove School District, Jimmy moved to Trinity County to teach at the Reading Creek Canyon School. From there, he started the Serafino School in Santa Rosa.

Jimmy leaves behind a legacy of generosity and acceptance. A lifelong musician, Jimmy’s love of music brought him to Sausalito. He was a longtime member of the Sausalito Cruising Club and could be found playing boogie woogie on the piano with the bands both there and at the No Name Bar.

Jimmy will be fondly remembered for 26 years of “Uncle Jimmy’s 50th Birthday Party”, the party where friends and family would get together to visit, sing, dance, and listen to great music. His friends and family are grateful for all those who brought music into Jimmy’s life, from Johnny Otis and his family to amazing blues artists from across the US too numerous to individually mention.

A celebration of Jimmy’s life will be held at the Cruising Club on March 8th from 1:00 p.m.—3:00 p.m. (and probably much longer!).

Here’s to an eternity of 50th birthdays, Uncle Jimmy.